Well, well, well! I have to admit to no small measure of surprise on
hearing Ms Burke's debut album 'Overcome'. The car-crash of a show
which spawned her has not guaranteed any great degree of longevity
(Ms Lewis a cautious exception) in the careers of its past winners
(Mr Brookstein, Mr Ward, Mr Jackson - where are they now?).
The difference with this young lady is that she has talent.
She's funny and feisty, she has charm and chutzpah and above
all this she can sing. Oh my good golly gosh can she sing?!!
That this recording has had bucket-loads of cash thrown at it
is self-evident. The investment is likely to reap rich rewards
both for Ms Burke and for those who own her. We must hope that
she is nurtured and looked-after a little too.
The industry is a cruel and fickle place for the uninitiated.
The intergalactic roster of producers and writers aside what
we have here is a solid-gold pop album. A splash of R&B, a big
spoonfull of soul, a dash of electro, a pinch of Motown.
What's remarkable is that it is shaped into a coherent whole
by the enthusiastic abandon of her vocal prowess.
It's a largely up-beat collection with a couple of stonkingly
wonderful power-ballads thrown in for good measure.
Her collaboration with RedOne has been especially fruitful.
'The Silence', 'Dumb' and 'Broken Heels' are all cracking songs.
The latter is destined to set countless dance-floors ablaze.
'Gotta Go' is a consumately soulful compositon beautifully sung.
'You Broke My Heart' confidently captures the spirit of 60's R&B.
'Bury Me (6 Feet Under)' is perhaps the only weak number in the bunch.
Ms Burke does not seem to be entirely comfortable with the somewhat
insipid melody and brittle vocal harmonies.
Not dreadfull, just a tad lacklustre in the company of stronger material.
I will never tire of listening to her performance of Mr Cohen's
great song 'Halleluja'. It is a trancendent interpretation.
I feel fairly confident that this will not be the last we shall hear from
Alexandra Burke. I'm looking forward to the next installment already.
on 14 June 2010
I bought this album because I'm a fan of Alexandra's voice and I really liked the singles taken from it. After only a few listens, I must say I am really impressed with this album. I particularily like the first half, which is very up beat with some really catchy songs. Not quite so keen on the second half, as there are more ballads which is not so much my cup of tea. I would say there are probably 6 or even 7 songs on here that are good enough to be released as singles.
on 6 January 2010
Right from the X Factor auditions, I knew that Alex was going to take the crown. I was pleased when learned what producers she would be working with especially Stargate and RedOne as they have produced really good tracks for Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Rihanna. I was intrigued what they would do with Alex especially her voice. I have to say RedOne impressed me and exceeded my expectations what they would do with Alex while Stargate dissapoints. The tracks 'Nothing but the Girl', 'Goodnight Goodmorning' are 2nd rate tracks that sounds like ones Rihanna, Beyonce and other artists rejected for their albums. Though, GNGM is a grower with listen, I expected more from Stargate as they've produced some of the best tracks this decade. Basically, the uptempos Bad Boys, Dumb, Broken Heels and All Night Long overshadow the ballads except 'The Silence'. A very strong debut for Alexandra Burke and shows her personality to the fullest - The hyper bubbly Alex in songs 'Broken Heels' and 'Bad Boys' to the soulful vulnerable side of her in songs, 'They Don't Know' and 'The Silence'. The album has lots of potential/strong singles and coupled with some new tracks she'll be recording for the U.S release, she has a very high chance of cracking America.
My review for each track as follows
Bad Boys - 3.5/5 - This song is a grower but excellent first single that shows her FIERCE side really well. I don't really like the message of this song though. It's true but at the end of the day, it's the girls that cry over the infedility of their 'Bad Boy'
Goodnight Goodmorning - 3/5 - Like Bad Boys, this track is a grower with a nice sexy beat but sounds 2nd rate. Alex and Ne-Yo's vocals sound nice together in this track. Good club-esque track for the clubs
The Silence - 5/5 - Definitely needs to be released as a single! Original lyrics about her man not talking to her. Gorgoeus instrumentation from RedOne with Alex's beautiful powerful and emotive vocals. Although her voice sounds starined at places, it helps evoke the emotion and makes what she's singing about even more believable. A song I'm sure Leona will have difficulty singing
All Night Long - 4/5 - I give it a 4 because it sounds like I've heard it before. But really really great track and a track that will get everyone dancing
Bury Me (6 feet under) - 2.5/5 - What was Simon thinking when he chose this song to make the cut? Overall a grower and quite catchy. The weakest track of the bunch
Broken Heels - 4.5/5 - FANTASTIC track! RedOne and Alex amazes in this and totally shows her personality. Sound better the more you listen to it. From the lyrics to the beat to the vocals. A*
Dumb - 5/5 - one word: EPIC! RedOne does wonders again! The Hook in the song is very very orginal and doesn't sound like anything that have been heard before. Not even Lady Gaga. The beat is infectious and Alex drives the track with her power vocals with personality. Has to be released as a single and A*
Overcome - 3/5 - The song tells a story with very powerful vocals. Does nothing for me though
Gotta Go - 2.5/5 - A filler track with lame lyrics
You broke my heart - 4.5/5 - More of a grower. This song is my jam and love the clever lyrics. The instrumentation is fantastic and Alex's voice is really strong and emotive in this track. Alex's best vocals in this album behing 'The Silence'.
Nothing but the Girl - 3/5 - Lame lyrics and sounds like a left over. Nice beat though and quite catchy
They Don't Know - 3.5/5 - Good lyrics and like the title track, it tells a story. Very nice easy listening track and a break from her power vocals. Still, it can't compare to the stronger ballads and Uptempos in the album
Hallelijah - 4/5 - No need of reviewing this as most people have heard it. Alex really did justice to this song
Standout tracks - 'Broken Heels' (already a single),Dumb, 'The Silence' and 'You broke my heart'
Honourable mention - 'Overcome' the track
Overall - 4/5 - Very strong album with about 7 hit potential singles and will fare very well in the U.S with other tracks to replace the weak ones. The album is a mirror to Alex personality - her fiesty side and emotional vulnerable side. Alex has really improved her vocals in this album and I recommend getting it. The album wouldn't get you in the first listen. With multiple listenings, you'll discover a body of work. Kudos Alex!
This has joined the (extremely limited) list of great reality TV albums, along with Leona Lewis' debut (and probably follow-up) and a handful of others. Alexandra's voice sounds nothing short of fantastic on some of the tracks here, and it does make a pleasant change from the autotune that can be heard in many songs of established artists. The one criticism I would make here is that some of the writing (in particular lyrically) is not quite good enough for a star of Alexandra's calibre:
1.Bad Boys-A good first single, representative of the album as a whole, but not the best song on here. 8/10
2.Good Night, Good Morning-This is a really fantastic R&B track, better than the first, and Ne-Yo's contribution is outstanding!!!!! 10/10
3.The Silence-A superb ballad, probably the best on the album and the vocals on it are phenomenal. 10/10
4.All Night Long-One of my favourite upbeat numbers on the album, very catchy! 10/10
5.Bury Me-A soulful number, which suits her great voice. 9/10
6.Broken Heels-A typical "anthem" type song, I like it! 8/10
7.Dumb-It rolls along nicely enough, but won't leave a lasting impression. 6.5/10
8.Overcome-Another great ballad, powerful stuff! 9/10
9.Gotta Go-This one definitely takes a few listens, but it's a good little song. 7/10
10.You Broke My Heart-Had high hopes for this song having heard it had been written by Pixie Lott, but she definitely kept the best tracks for herself. 6/10
11.Nothing But The Girl-This dancey number doesn't really show Alexandra's vocals off well. 6/10
12.They Don't Know-A good ballad to finish the album, but it doesn't quite match up to the others. 8/10
(BONUS)13.Hallelujah-A brilliant version, of a fantastic song. 10/10
This definitely sets a fantastic groundwork for Alexandra to build upon for her next album and if you get the opportunity to see her live in the meantime do it-because she is a FANTASTIC live performer!
on 1 December 2009
The X Factor can lead a couple of ways:
1) To worldwide success (e.g. Leona Lewis)
2) Not help you at all (e.g. Steve Brookstein)
After one listen of "Overcome", it seems that Alexandra Burke will soon be following in the steps of Leona, by going on to worldwide success.
This album has a good mixture of up-tempo and ballads. There are 4 stand-out songs for me, and two are ballads, and two are up-tempo.
"Bad Boys", the lead single, is an excellent start to the album. It gets you up and dancing straight away, and is very catchy. An instant hit.
"Broken Heels", a RedOne production, is huge. Up-tempo and very catchy, like Bad Boys, but possibly even better.
"The Silence", another RedOne production, is more like a ballad. A nice echo in the chorus, and a really good key change in the last chorus. Would be a very good single choice if Alexandra wants to release a ballad.
"Overcome", the title track from the album, has excellent lyrics and a powerful chorus. Fits in with the fact this is a debut album, and has a great placing on the album, straight after a couple of up-tempo tracks.
Really great ordering of the tracks, as the same styles are split up, and you don't have a load of ballads/up-tempo all in one go.
Strongest Song(s): Bad Boys, Broken Heels, The Silence, Overcome
Weakest Song(s): Nothing But The Girl
on 14 November 2009
Alexandra Burke, you go girl!!! Alexandra's new cd is absolutely 'fantabulous' and she's definately in a league of her own. Alexandra is blessed with an amazing voice and she is super talented. All those negative people who are still sour about Alexandra winning the X-factor last year,just get over it. Alexandra was destined to win. She won cos so many people loved her voice and voted for her. I didn't care about my phone bill when I voted for her during the x-factor shows,lol. I agree with a lot of people, Alexandra sang better than Beyonce during their duet. I am a Leona Lewis fan too but Alexandra's voice just captures my attention and she will always be my favourite of the two. People should stop comparing Alexandra to Leona Lewis as they are very different artists...and this was quite evident when Leona performed on the X-factor last Sunday. Alexandra has the potential to become even more successful than Leona Lewis and she definately sings much better than Cheryl Cole. I wish Alexandra best of luck and may God continue to bless her.
Not being funny; but let's look at X Factors' track record of winners-releases. Steve Whathisnameepicfail isn't even worth mentioning, Shayne Ward was passable with huge "Justin Timberlake" potential but ultimately was very badly managed, Leona Lewis was completely fantastic but released a fairly average and utterly un-groundbreaking debut filled with mediocre ballads only passable because of her astonishing vocals and finally little Leon Jackson who was quite underrated and released a very safe, and ultimately, very flop-worthy album.
Now I'm not maths genius, but I think that means the average X Factor Winner's Album has been generally quite poor.
So with that in mind, let's bring 2008 X Factor Winner Alexandra Burke and her debut album "Overcome" to the spotlight.
Our initial view of the album was her debut single `Bad Boys' featuring "legendary" rapper Flo-Rida. It wasn't, and isn't, the worst single ever; it's certainly better than Cheryl Cole's appalling solo debut; but it's also no `Bleeding Love'.
But what we can tell from the first single is that Alexandra means business. She isn't going to be another warbling princess like Leona, Shayne or Leon. Her fantastic pop is laced with American attitude and danger with a heavy baseline and stomping beat: the song even has a fully choreographed dance routine! Huzzar! A real pop star is born!
And if you liked her single; you are going to LOVE her album!
What you will notice immediately is her album is laced with amazing upbeat tracks. `Goodnight, Goodmorning' (featuring "legendary" rapper/R'n'B "superstar" Ne-Yo), `Broken Heels', `Dumb', `You Broke My Heart' and `Nothing But The Girl'. The influences behind these tracks are obvious; Rihanna, Beyoncé and maybe even Britney. What they don't attempt to do is replicate the aforementioned artistes music (*cough*Leona*cough*). These tracks are strong and independent, well produced and massively catchy!
`Broken Heels' is perhaps one of the best songs on the album; kicking off with a stunning baseline and amazing vocals. It's very Alesha Dixon, if Alesha Dixon was American. The song is impossible not to sing to, and it is also impossible not to dance to. And the lyrics? I'm glad you asked! "All the ladies tell the fellas we can do what they can do, we can do it even better in broken heels." Ouch!
`You Broke My Heart' is a fabulous track; quite big Big Band influences, a strong piano riff throughout and Alexandra's voice is glorious on this track. And whilst not a favourite of mine, I can appreciate the excellence of `Nothing But The Girl', a more R'n'B and dance influenced track, again with an amazing baseline and very "girl power" lyrics. It's fast and furious and would be a massive club hit.
As expected, the album is also rife with ballads; `The Silence', `Overcome', `Gotta Go' and `They Don't Know'. However, what is not expected is these ballads are not one of your two-a-penny-Leona-does-Mariah-does-Whitney affairs. They are stunning.
What makes them stunning is Alexandra's vocals. `Overcome' is powerful, with the standard big drums, big choir, big vocals chorus; but Alexandra is so passionate, so powerful and so beautifully deep-voiced it makes it hard not to tingle from head to foot whilst listening to. Equally, `They Don't Know' is a bluesy-pop affair which has me believing Alexandra should be recording an Ella Fitzgerald-esque album next. Moving, vocally stunning and gentle all the way through; the track is a massive success.
`The Silence' is one of the most stunning tracks on this album; soft and tender, emotional and touching, fragile but strong. It's awesome. The chorus is just beautiful: Alexandra sounds raw and exposed and powerful all at the same time, her voice breaking a bit as she belts out "so say you want me". My God, it's so much better than anything Leona could ever do!
Finally I have to mention my absolute most favourite track on the album. It's an up-tempo big-band-Jools Holland affair by the name of `Bury Me (6 Feet Under)'. If I were on the X Factor, I would perform this for Big Band Week (if `You Took Advantage of Me' didn't exist). I don't even know how to describe this song: it's odd, it's amazing, it's completely unexpected - it has no place on this album; it's proceeded by the big emotional ballad `The Silence' and succeeded by danceable musical amazingness `Broken Heels' but it doesn't matter; ultimately it is a fantastic song!
"Overcome" is a most pleasant musical surprise. There's a right assortment of tracks, all of which are wonderfully crafted, written and produced, but ultimately, it's her vocals which win!
on 19 October 2009
One of the most versatile albums I've purchased in a while. From the opening track  `Bad Boys' you know you're in for a good time. The debut from Alexandra grabs hold and does not let go.  `Good Night Good Morning' is a smooth romp along with Ne-Yo, which gives way to the ambient drum and base of  `The Silence'. Then the album shifts into party mode with  `All Night Long' and the big band, Amy Winehouse feel of  `Bury Me'. Track  and  are reflective of The Spice Girls before she takes it down tempo for the monster vocal of the title track  `Overcome' and this song has X-Factor winner written all over it. Track  `Gotta Be' has a P!NK quality with a rocky vocal which I'm not sure works. This, to me, is the weakest track in a very strong set. Alexandra then pulls it out the bag with the 60's feeling track  `You Broke My Heart', which you'll be singing for days.  `Nothing But The Girl' is a killer dance track, which will have you longing for Saturday night. The next track brings it down again in preparation for the finale  `They Don't Know'; it's a beautiful harmony but a dive in tempo and emotion from track eleven. Then onto the last track of the CD release,  `Hallelujah' which split the nation at Christmas, you either love it or you hate it. Then onto the iTunes extra track  `It's Over', a middle of the road track with an appealing back beat and a perfect finish to an impressive debut album. Alexandra, Cheryl and Simon should all be very proud of this offering.
on 6 February 2010
Here is my review for Alexandra Burkes Album Overcome:
Firstly it starts of with the best single of 2009! Bad boys, with the help of Flo Rida it is one of my favorites on there and is so catchy. Next is Good Night Good Morning feat Ne Yo i love this song so much, its about if she should go with him and say good morning or leave it and say goodnight "This beat is crazy". Next is the Silence, it is a slow and sad song but after a few listens its Amazing the Chours is beautiful with her vocals. All Night long is also very catchy, Next 6 Feet Under has a very old jazzy feel to it with a great harmonious Chours "6 feet Under Where i'l Be'. Next is Broken Heels another of my Favorites Made by Redone! Insanely catchy, you will be singing it all day long. Dumb has a RnB Feel with bits of pop in it very uptempo, Next Overcome the albums name also, it starts of slow but after a few listens you will love it, and Alexandra's vocals really shine in this song. Gotto Go this lyrics are fantastic, Next you broke my heart which was written by Pixie Lott love the beat to it and its also got a old school feel to it sounding like a musical song, Nothink But the Girl amazing Beat running through the whole song for sure a club hit!, They Don't know is another beautifully written song love the piano in it and her vocals on this song show off why she won the x factor, Hallelujah her x factors winners song and also the last song on the album another of my favorites.
I was so surprised at this album, i Love almost Every song and listen to each song all the time Alexandra has done Brilliant, this album has so many different types of songs. The Whole Album can be described in one word... Amazing!!!!!!!
By Jamie S
on 21 November 2009
Highlights - The Silence. Broken Heels - will have the whole club on its feet with a feelgood cameraderie.
I did not watch the 2008 x factor but having heard this album wanted to see what this young lady was made of.
Viewed some performances on YouTube. Apart from the irritating blubbling and clear hero worship with the duet on 'Listen'(my least favourite of them all), All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!. A phenomenal live artist performing her socks off and fighting to win every week showing she has the work ethic to make it. Would be a great concert if she gets that far down the road.
Would love to see Good Night Good Morning (another highlight on the album)performed live with Neyo - possitively sizzles as they both have natural sex appeal and performance sense. This is better than his version with Brandy.
By and large, black female home grown talent does not achieve high profile success in this country and does better almost anywhere else. I don't believe it's anything to do with racism. People just don't identify with and don't want to look like dark females. The assumption by the press and even male black artists alike is that they are just not as marketable. That's why we don't really see them on magazine covers or in music videos. Suspect Ms Burke will have a bumpier rise than her predecessor. It's just the way it is! Also R&B, a natural association is also amongst the least popular music in the UK (4% of the music buying public). so Ms Burke (if it was her idea) has been very smart by mixing lots of styles to appeal to a wider audience.
Personally, she has won me over. She has a rich smoky faultless vocal range without needing help from the studio technology. A listen to her live performances confirms this. I was moved by the truth in her voice - the album sounds like her story.
She is humble, stunning to look at, and cries with her eyes and voice to convey feeling . She can also dance without losing any of her vocals - believe me there are only a handful of people who can do this.
I wish her every success and hope she has some longetivity here because I'd like to keep buying her music. She is gonna have to work really, really hard to keep her profile up in this country. It is genious choosing a safe, catchy first single that should launch her in the US market with a 'thriller-type' big production video as she is gonna need all the extra help she can get to keep her contracts. Good vocals just aren't enough on their own. Madonna and Robbie for instance have forged huge careers on average vocals and are both very good at what they do. I have no problem recommending this album. In my opinion, one of the best this year!