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4.5 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Syco
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,942 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Leona working with an executive producer for the first time: Fraser T Smith. The pair first met ten years previously when Leona was unknown and recording demos, working hard for that first big break. A decade later and Leona stepped back into the vocal booth in front of Fraser as a global superstar.
Sharing a vision and a passion for everything this album should be, Glassheart is an accomplished and passionate follow up to Leona’s previous two studio albums; Sprit and Echo. From the anguished epic opener of "Trouble", the sheer breathtaking beauty of "Fireflies" and the heartbreaking honesty of "Un Love Me", Glassheart is an intimate, inspired album that sees Leona opening up and laying her emotions bare. Along with tracks like "Fingerprint" and "When It Hurts" this album cements her position as one of the greatest vocalists of her generation. In May of this year Leona previewed the edgy "Come Alive" showcasing a different sound and energy that can also be heard on tracks "Glassheart" and "Shake You Up". Another stand out moment is the moody "I To You", an epic and sinister ballad set against a lush sound-bed of strings. Leona's worked alongside some of the best songwriters and producers around, including: Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy, Craze and Hoax, Ina Wroldsen, Bonnie McKee, Kelly Sheehan, Ryan Tedder, Autumn Rowe and Rodney Jerkins. Fraser came on board last year following a recording session that Leona felt exactly captured the spirit and subtleties of Glassheart. He was able to weave a creative thread though the project and help Leona create a bespoke album. Speaking about Fraser’s involvement Leona said, “He’s captured everything so beautifully. He’s so musical and sensitive to what I need as a vocalist.”

BBC Review

Here’s a game: try and imagine what this Leona Lewis album sounds like, based on your knowledge of her previous work. Finished? Congratulations! You’re absolutely right.

After an uncomfortable excursion into happier dance music with Collide – her notably absent single from 2011– Leona is here to restate her core principles. Namely that a) she is always unlucky in love, unless she is swooning in melancholy bliss; b) she is always sad about how things have turned out, even if she is swooning in melancholy bliss; and c) her melancholy bliss is the size of a mountain. A really big one, with a very sharp peak.

And of course, this creates a problem for anyone hoping to take her career in new directions. Over the course of these 12 songs there are all sorts of production nods to happier music: the dubstep drop (Glassheart), the ticky breakbeats (Come Alive), the thick shag pile bass on the up-tempo numbers (note: there are no up-tempo numbers, there are only the not-ballads). But sitting on top, as always, is the eternally downcast Leona, the sensitive flower with the elephant bellow.

Even on Fireflies, the only chipper-ish moment in the whole collection, she sounds devastated – by beauty, in this case. That’s her natural tone of voice.

So of course the songs that tend to fly best, on their own terms at least, are the uncluttered muscle ballads: When It Hurts, Fingerprint, Un Love Me. How very expectable.

But then there’s Trouble. It’s the sole song that suggests Leona is an active participant in her own misery, the only song that takes her mournful wail and puts it somewhere new – in this case, a stern lesson in the power politics of a love gone bad, resting on a pillowy base of Massive Attack strings. Taken straight, or with a bitter twist of Childish Gambino, it’s a powerful draft.

Four or five more songs like that from contributing writer Emeli Sandé, maybe a collaboration with Jessie Ware, and this would feel like a fresh start. As it is, it’s simply the next Leona Lewis album.

--Fraser McAlpine

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