Long-awaited debut album from the 2006 X-Factor winner. The album is a mixture of pop ballads and soulful R&B tracks and includes her first single 'A Moment Like This', the international hit single 'Bleeding Love' and 'Better in Time'.
Leona Louise Lewis is something of an anomaly. Not only is she pretty and endowed with a wonderfully elastic (four-octave) vocal range--shes also a committed vegetarian and one of the few X Factor/TV talent show winners not to immediately try to capitalise on her success with an album of weak covers. Instead, her mentor Simon Cowell (and team) have coaxed Lewis into the studio with some of Americas biggest talents--Dallas Austin, Jam & Lewis--and come up with an album of weak originals. You couldnt exactly call "Spirit" a bad album. It carries memorable melodies, some classic song-writing and, of course, Lewis seriously potent voice (shes been compared to Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey already). But what the album lacks is personality. Songs like "Bleeding Love" (produced by Ryan Tedder and Jesse McCartney) are technically flawless, but youre left thinking is this all the sass and sparkle a bonafide Hackney gal can muster? "The Best You Never Had", the Ne-Yo produced "I'm You" and many other songs here follow this play-it-safe formula, while the albums ballads--"Footprints in the Sand", for example--are so bland even Whitney and Mariah would wince. Still, theres no doubt Lewis is a real talent. Perhaps if she ditches the overpaid superstar producers next time and makes the album she wants to make, we might finally hear some of her real spirit. --Danny McKenna