Having owned Burke's first album 'Overcome' since the day of its release and still playing many of its tracks two-and-a-half years since, my expectations were high for her sophomore album. As I'd expected, it has its up and downs. Such is the 'curse' of the fabled 'sophomore slump'.
The album's stand-out tracks are definately 'Elephant', 'Let It Go', 'Fire', 'Tonight' and 'Oh La La'. Whether its pumping beats or piano melodies, its as clear as ever that this girl can REALLY sing. Throughout the album, and on these songs in particular, her voice ranges from raw strength to smouldering power, determined earthiness to broken heart. Few can dispute that the pumping beats of the album's dance tracks - combined with Alexandra's powerful vocals - leave you wanting to do anything other than hit the dance floor.
However, it is worth noting for anyone hoping for something earth-shatteringly original (aka The Adele Factor) on this album, that this is not quite the case. Lyrically, some of the tracks are simply not as strong as those of Burke's debut (she appears to use the word/phrase 'Tonight' in 70% of the songs). Some of the dance tracks are also slightly generic i.e. they lack a sense of clear individuality and artistic direction. However, if like me you come home after a week's hard work and simply want to forget the pompous "Ooh, this isn't exactly original, is it?" thoughts and have a good time, this album is undoubtedly just the ticket.
Burke is clearly a very VERY talented vocalist and I only hope that she continues to make music for a long time. The British music industry needs ferociously hard-working power vocalists like her!