||From the Vault...
© J/Syco/Sony BMG Records
Year of Release: 2007
Better In Time
I Will Be
The First Time Ever
I Saw Your Face
Whatever It Takes
Take A Bow
Footprints In The Sand
Here I Am
Leona Lewis related sites:
Leona Lewis achieved a huge #1 hit, "Bleeding Love." The year was 2007. She was the winner of the third season of X Factor (UK).
She would record her debut album, Spirit, produced by Simon Cowell and Clive Davis. Spirit debuted at #1 in nine countries. It held
the record for the biggest digital album sales in a week ever, for a new artist. Since the X Factor was based in the UK, Spirit would
accomplish more popularity in the UK, than any other country. There are various editions of Spirit, where this edition reviewed here, was the
North American version. A standard version, North American, and bonus tracks for the Japanese, UK and Ireland releases. Likewise, a Deluxe version
was released. One of the bonus tracks was "A Moment Like This." Of course, for American Idol fans, this song would be recorded by the
first season winner of American Idol, Kelly Clarkson.
Simply put, Leona Lewis' songs on Spirit are well-recorded R&B tracks. Easily compared to Beyonce, Alicia Keys, the early years of Mariah
Carey, and possibly, to a future artist that would emerge, Adele, yet more on the soulful (black) R&B style.
The album leads off with the biggest hit from it -- "Bleeding Love." It was #1 for a total of 4 weeks. A powerful song, and there is no
doubt, it is one of the best songs recorded in the 21st Century. Soulful R&B has "Better In Time." Likewise, "I Will Be" is another
soulful R&B track, and more of a ballad. "I'm You" is common R&B, and basically sounding like a perfect fit for what should be heard in today's
R&B. And this continues with the next two tracks, being in the style of upbeat R&B -- "Forgive Me" and "Misses Glass." "Angel"
is a very, good track. There were 6 tracks that would become "singles/hits" from Spirit. Yet "Angel" was not on that hit list, but it
Roberta Flack's "The First TIme Ever I Saw Your Face" gets the remake from Lewis, and it is more powerful than the original. Again, although
a remake, this remake version would have easily achieved heavy airplay, if it didn't already. "Yesterday" is another beautiful R&B ballad, compared
to Mariah Carey. "Whatever It Takes" is another song that is R&B, and the kind of R&B that we should hear more of. "Take A Bow" just
maybe the least favorite from the others; it is a good song, yet there are others that are better.
The last two tracks (North American edition) are "UK Bonus Tracks": "Footprints In The Sand" is a very nice pleasant R&B ballad. "Here I
Am" is another nice ballad, as "Footprints." Both of these songs could easily be compared to the early Mariah Carey, and Kelly Clarkson.
Spirit by Leona Lewis is truly, a fantastic album. Having the comparisons to the early Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys on the softer ballads.
THe softer sounding songs are definitely the standouts throughout the entire album. This is an album that puts Leona Lewis in the category of Pure R&B.
Whether it be a soft ballad, or upbeat R&B, this album is easily placed with the common Divas of the late 1990s, into the 21st Century. After
Spirit, she released four more albums, including a Christmas albums. These albums weren't as popular as Spirit (here in the U.S.).
Maybe there were more popular in her home country of the UK. Leona Lewis' debut album makes her a Diva in her own right. Every song is good on
Spirit, and for those who enjoy this kind of music, each song grabs your attention span, and as each song is heard, there is no doubt that you
can say that this singer is very talented. She won the third season of X Factor, and just as Kelly Clarkson won on the first season of American
Idol, Simon Cowell was a judge on both shows. And with these two singers winning on talent shows, with the exception of another Idol winner,
Carrie Underwood, there has yet to be another talent show winner that measured up to the likes of Kelly Clarkson, or even Carrie Underwood. Add Leona
Lewis to that list. Although her albums after Spirit may not have been as popular as Clarkson and Underwood, her popularity in the UK should
take care of that. In Fact, her second album, Echo (2009), reached #1 in the UK. Glassheart (2012), reached #3 (UK). Christmas, With
Love (2013), reached #13 (UK). Her latest album, I Am (2015), reached #12. So all of her albums did better in the UK.
I watched the DVD first, and since I enjoyed Groban's little entertainment of Cat Stevens and Elton John, I was expecting to hear that on the CD.
Give Leona Lewis' Spirit a listen. Truly it is a fantastic album, and a diva in her own right. If you're a fan of such artists as Mariah
Carey, Alicia Keys, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, you will enjoy Leona Lewis' debut album, Spirit.
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