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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Bonus Tracks
If you are tempted to buy this based on the heading [Bonus Tracks] I would watch out. The UK album has 14 tracks listed and this has 13.

The UK album has the tracks listed above except tracks 5. Forgive Me and 6. Misses Glass instead of these the UK album has Homeless (UK track 3) and The Best You Never Had (UK track 11) and A Moment Like This - UK Bonus Track
Published on 11 April 2008 by A. Montgomery

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I think Leona has a lovely voice and bought this CD with no hesitation, but find that not only do too many of the songs sound similar, her voice by the end of it begins to grate. Two or three tracks are worth listening to. She has been let down by the songs that have been written for her.
Published on 7 Jan 2008 by .


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 7 Jan 2008
By 
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
I think Leona has a lovely voice and bought this CD with no hesitation, but find that not only do too many of the songs sound similar, her voice by the end of it begins to grate. Two or three tracks are worth listening to. She has been let down by the songs that have been written for her.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Bonus Tracks, 11 April 2008
By 
A. Montgomery (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you are tempted to buy this based on the heading [Bonus Tracks] I would watch out. The UK album has 14 tracks listed and this has 13.

The UK album has the tracks listed above except tracks 5. Forgive Me and 6. Misses Glass instead of these the UK album has Homeless (UK track 3) and The Best You Never Had (UK track 11) and A Moment Like This - UK Bonus Track
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90 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait!, 9 Nov 2007
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
Leona Lewis has been away for a year working on her debut album and to sum it up: it was definitely worth the wait! There is a fantastic variety of songs on Spirit, with a nice mixture of styles merged together. Here is a track by track breakdown:

1. Bleeding Love - Amazing comeback single! Seems like the whole of the UK is loving this one. It's had so much success and deserves it! Fantastic song, very catchy, great production and vocals from Leona! 10/10

2. Whatever It Takes - One of my favourites on the album. I love the soul/gospel sound and it's also really catchy. Definitely a possible single, nice feel-good song. 9.5/10

3. Homeless - Very emotional song, Leona's vocals are just perfect and the song is great. I love the subtle sound effects of rain at the beginning and end. The music really helps with the emotion of the song. 9/10

4. Better In Time - One of the stand-out tracks! Very catchy melody and chorus, love the use of piano and strings. My only criticism would be a longer final chorus with a bit more oomph and don't fade out at the end some amazing vocals. 9.5/10

5. Yesterday - Another one of my favourites. Takes a few listens to fully appreciate it I think. I find myself listening to this song a lot, great vocals once again and I like the old-school beat. 9.5/10

6. Take A Bow - Another of the stand-out tracks and DEFINITELY has to be a single. This will be a smash-hit I just know. Ryan Tedder produced this and Bleeding Love. He is an absolute genius, simple as. 10/10

7. I Will Be - A song you wouldn't expect on a Leona album! Definitely Avril-esque. Nice to see her delve into the pop-rock genre a bit. I'd like to see a few similar songs on her next album. 8/10

8. Angel - I started off disliking this song and thinking it was really average but I've grown to really like it now. Still annoys me that lazy Stargate rehashed that same beat yet again but it's a good song! 8/10

9. Here I Am - This is a beautiful song, beautiful music and lyrics, it just really needed a bigger climax at the end I think. It starts to and then ends so quickly. And with a massive ballad like this, I'd have expected a bit more from Leona's vocals. 6.5/10

10. I'm You - Not a stand-out track and people probably expected more from Ne-Yo as he produced it but I actually really like it. Funky music and beats, perhaps needs to be a bit faster. I like it more with every listen though. 7.5/10

11. The Best You Never Had - Love the music in this one and it's refreshing after all the mid-tempos to have something a bit more uptempo. Catchy chorus and melody throughout. It makes me smile, very clever lyrics. I also like this one more and more with every listen. 8.5/10

12. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - One word: angelic. It takes a lot to move me, I'm not one to cry at films usually and all that but the vocals on this are just flawless. So exquisitically sung, love it. 9/10

13. Footprints In The Sand - Fell in love with this song the first time I heard it and still do! The lyrics are beautiful and Leona's singing once again lifts the song to another level. 9/10

14. A Moment Like This - Heard this about a million times but I still love it! I'm so glad they changed it quite a lot from Kelly's to make it more original. Glad it's not gonna be on overseas editions of the album but it's still nice to listen to every once in a while. 7/10

Overall: AMAZING album! Once I get my copy, it's going in my car and staying there probably indefinitely lol. Leona is without doubt the best reality show winner ever IMO, and Spirit is easily the best first album from one. Can't wait to see Leona develop as an artist and be around for years to come.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 1st Album - desperate for 2nd album already!, 31 Dec 2007
By 
LIMITEDS COM "LimiTeds" (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
Really fantastic first album, and as Shayne has said, Leona can be extremely proud that she came from the X Factor - what difference does it make if you come out of nowhere or from a show where the public can vote for the best of the audionees? Plenty of jealous "reviewers" out there, clearly.

Leona will go from strength to strength and all power to her! Happy New Year!
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Singer, Bland music, 14 Nov 2007
By 
Amazonian Native (Amazon Rainforest) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
There's no doubting Leona is the best thing that the show has produced so far, but I have to say she needs better songs, this is the kind of bland music that's ten a penny out there these days, Cowell can smugly think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread but for me its both the songs and the artist that make a great album, and unless she delivers better material in the future she'll disapear just as past winners have.
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Divide, 13 Nov 2007
By 
G. P. Dimelow "Gareth" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
Opinions seem to be divided when it comes to Leona Lewis.

Firstly, there are those who lump her in with every other reality show winner (and loser) as some kind of offence to the Gods of music. Citing `commerciality' as a criticism, they paint of picture of Leona standing over proper music's bloodied corpse, her affinity with Simon Cowell being proof enough of some Faustian pact to destroy all that is good and true.

Then there are those who fanatically proclaim Leona as a pretender to the throne, a jester in the court of Mariah - as though there were only room enough in this world for one octave-molesting uber-voice. These people seem to miss the point that the only remarkable thing about Mariah, aside from her distended ribcage and allergy to clothing, is just how long it's been since she recorded anything with a melody. Or that her gritty, R&B edginess seems increasingly disingenuous in an artist who cannot manipulate her own drinking straw.

And then there are the people who got a bit carried away, and mistakenly saw Leona's Christmas victory on the X-Factor as proof positive of her status as the second coming. The ones who misinterpreted Simon's proclamation of Leona's world class abilities as a sign - a star in the night that would lead us all to the finest fourteen tracks in the history of recorded music. Songs so powerful that they would need to be packed away in a crate and hidden in the depths of some unimaginably cavernous warehouse.

OK, I'm getting a bit carried away. Suffice it to say, I think all of these people are wrong. And the fact that Leona inspires such fierce debate is simply a sure sign that she has a big career ahead of her. After all, I don't recall people falling over themselves to castigate or lionize Steve Brookstein or Michele McManus.

So what do I make of Leona Lewis? Well, I do believe that her talent is a truly unique find. She's really the only talent show contestant I've ever heard who can tackle the diva-triptych head-on, and come out on top. For instance, her recent performance of `The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' on the otherwise lamentable Saturday Night Divas knocked Celine Dion's lachrymose and overblown interpretation into a cocked hat. And let's not forget that she took a stab at Whitney's yell-fest version of Dolly Parton's `I Will Always Love You' in a week where she was treated for tonsillitis. She even managed to make it less grating than Whitney's, whilst retaining all the song's power and impact. Best of all, she can sing like Mariah, but doesn't need to - thereby sparing us the latter's often shrill, dog-whistle technique. But enough of the comparisons - the fact is, hers is a voice that can bring people to tears, myself included. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

So that's my verdict on the singer. But what of the songs? Again, Simon's hype about the time it takes to craft a masterpiece may be responsible for the weight of expectation laid at Leona's frequently bare feet. But let's keep in mind, she was making a pop album, not repainting the Sistine Chapel. And in light of that fact, she's done a bloody good job. After all, I can't remember any other album in recent memory where 13 of the 14 tracks have been added to my frequently played list. The only duff song is the rather dull and rambling `I'm You'. A solid vocal performance and a contemporary production not nearly enough to disguise the meandering pointlessness of it all.

If you're looking for standout tracks, there are plenty to choose from. Current chart-botherer `Bleeding Love' combines unusual lyrics, crunchy beats and a pared-down accompaniment with clear echoes of Whitney's mid-80s arrangements. Topped off with a phenomenal vocal, it's no wonder this is the year's fastest-selling single.

In contrast, penultimate track `Footprints in the Sand' seems to have the fans divided. `It's just like a Westlife song' they carp. And perhaps they're right. But if it is, then it's like a Westlife song from the days when they had the best ones to choose from. Soaring, bold and powerful, this is likely to be the soundtrack to a million weddings and funerals in 2008. It's a one-stop-tearjerker-shop. And it shows just what those amazing pipes can do. Just listen to the final reprise of the chorus and how she runs through five different notes on the word `despair'. Truly awesome.

Not quite as epic or instant, but a real grower is track 4, `Better in Time'. I've seen this compared to `Always Be My Baby' and I can see the connection. Despite sounding light and poppy, this boasts a hugely confident vocal in Leona's upper register, and uplifting lyrics - "gonna smile `cos I deserve to". The more I listen, the more I love this one.
Track 11, `The Best You Never Had' jumped out at me from first listen, partly because it was so clearly from the songwriting/production team behind Katherine McPhee's fantastic `Over It'. If I had one complaint about this track, it would be that the sound quality suffers on the singalong chorus, almost as if the microphone Leona was pouring her attitude into simply wasn't up to the job. Once again, she sings in a key that bats could hear, to the point that it no longer sounds like Leona. But you know what, the song's so good, you just won't care.

I suppose I should also mention `Homeless'. I've been a big fan of this song for a year now, since I first heard it on Swedish Idol runner-up Darin's latest CD. The moment I heard Leona was going to be singing it I got very excited - it's a vocal showcase of a song, with an enormous crescendo around the 2:40 mark.

And that's the thing about Leona - her abilities enable her to add something unique to every song, be it a power note, an extra run, or a falsetto spike, such as the end of `A Moment Like This'. For me, that's the mark of a true vocalist, someone who gives something of themselves to every song, whether they're reinventing a classic, or elevating the mundane to the exceptional. Leona's voice is a true gift, and I have every confidence that she'll continue to grow and evolve as an artist, whilst keeping hold of the qualities that made us fall in love with her in the first place.

In case you haven't already guessed, I recommend this CD.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor poor poor, 27 Nov 2007
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
I was really looking forward to this album and its awful. Bleeding love is a great song and there's no doubt Leona has a great voice and will be a great talent. Unfortunately in my opinion the rest of the tracks on the album are very weak.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 good track..guess which one!, 25 Jan 2008
By 
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
I gave this a try after I loved the single "Bleeding Love"
What a letdown.Especially beings as this album took a year to get "the right songs" It's dire.The songs on it merge into one.The only thing it is useful for is for falling asleep to as the rest of the album is that bland.I bet even Avril Lavigne is gutted she gave one of her songs away,as even this sounds dull sung by Leona,no angst nothing.There are too many "vocal gymnastics" like Mariah/Celine that we could do without.It's more of a soul album,than r & b.If you like bleeding love,just download that one track otherwise you'll be straight back to the shop swapping it for something that you will play more than once.You've been warned.It may have sold alot of records,but that doesn't mean its any good.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spirit Review, 14 Nov 2007
By 
S. Tandon "Reviewer" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
I don't normally write reviews but I'm feeling a bit bored.

This is a very good album, and I would have to say that A. Spencer's review below is very accurate. The first six songs give this album one of the strongest openings to any album I have ever heard, ever! Almost rivaling Be Here Now in my opinion, in it's freshness, mix, rhythm, beat, acoustic qualities , and originality of songs.

What would have made this album even stronger is if the second set of songs were not so ballad focused and maintained the 'surprise' element you get from the first half. I can now see why some reviews have criticized it for having too many mid-tempo love songs; this is precisely what the second half of songs are, average love songs, with a few exceptions.

1. Bleeding Love - 10/10 (current single)

2. Whatever It Takes - Quite hip, builds up nicely towards the end, well integrated gospel singers in the background, not overly produced - 9/10

3. Homeless - Good. First time I heard this, I was not so taken aback. It feels like an average song, but for some reason I do like how the beginning vocals feel quite emotive; the passion builds and it's almost one of those determined, angst, revenge songs when she breaks out properly towards the end...could be more powerful from the beginning though - 8/10

4. Better In Time - This is an amazing song! A lovely piano riff, pulls you into the song, very different beat to what you usually hear - 10/10 (should be single)

5. Yesterday - Nice! 8.5/10

6. Take A Bow - I love this song! Those airy pipe sounds from the beginning through to end make this the next song that deserves single status - 10/10

7. I Will Be - 7/10... actually the more I listen the more I like it
8. Angel - 6.5/10... average
9. Here I Am - 6/10 ... a bit slow for my liking, too Mariah Carey like
10. I'm You - 6.5/10... average filler track

Songs 7 to 10, really pull down an amazing first 5 songs.

11. The Best You Never Had - I like this, different to the usual set of songs, nicely mixed electronic sounds, catchy chorus, light hearted song overall - 7.5/10

12. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - yes quite angelic! 8/10
13. Footprints In The Sand - A song written for middle America. I don't get the hype about why people like this. It's good but not that great - 7.5/10
14. A Moment Like This - UK Bonus Track - Haven't heard much of this song, like so many other people have, and I like it - 8.5/10

So in summary, an amazing first 6 - poor next 4 - average to good following 4

Summary:

1. Bleeding Love - 10/10
2. Whatever It Takes - 9/10
3. Homeless - 8/10
4. Better In Time - 10/10
5. Yesterday - 8.5/10
6. Take A Bow - 10/10

7. I Will Be - 7/10
8. Angel - 6.5/10
9. Here I Am - 6/10
10. I'm You - 6.5/10

11. The Best You Never Had - 7.5/10
12. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - 8/10
13. Footprints In The Sand - 7.5/10
14. A Moment Like This - UK Bonus Track - 8.5/10
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Voice......More song variety needed, 6 Jan 2008
By 
jim (Cornwall) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spirit (Audio CD)
I cannot deny that Leoan has a great voice and i think she deserved to win the X Factor. However, after listening to her album i feel she couldve done so much more...... Bleeding Love was a big hit and a definate standout track on the album but i think the other songs are all a bit samey.
compare this to the debuts of other great female vocalists from reality TV shows.... Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. both of whom has a strong variety of music on their debuts with up tempo tracks mixed in with ballads.
this debut on the other hand has no such variety with is a real shame since i was definately looking forward to hearing this
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