Our Version of Events
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Debut album from the BRIT Awards' 2012 Critic's Choice Award winner Emeli Sandé, Our Version of Events includes the Scottish singer-songwriter's hits "Heaven" and "Daddy".
Emeli Sandé’s aptly-named solo debut single Heaven was arguably the finest British pop song released in 2011. The Scottish singer-songwriter’s seraphic vocal swoops and producer Shahid ‘Naughty Boy’ Khan’s reassuring old-school breakbeats were warmly received by listeners, while a striking similarity to Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy can rarely hurt a song’s success.
Considering Heaven, which opens Our Version of Events, and the fact Sandé has written for everyone from Alicia Keys and Leona Lewis to Tinie Tempah, Sugababes and even Susan Boyle, it's perhaps reasonable to expect the most consistently great pop album since Girls Aloud’s Out of Control. Although this doesn’t arrive, we do have a charming and occasionally moving record full of care and polish, effort and grace.
"I can’t buy your love, don’t even want to try / Sometimes the truth won’t make you happy," sings Sandé on My Kind of Love, amid filtered pianos and surprisingly understated gospel chants. Lovely stuff, but it would have been a more compelling listen if the track was ludicrous and overblown, like the brilliant George Michael and Mary J. Blige cover of Stevie Wonder’s As.
Previous single Daddy is better. There’s a dose of believably bad male behaviour: "But friends keep telling you what he did last night / How many girls he kissed, how many he liked." Fittingly, the brooding mood created by a trip-hop beat and dramatic strings is reminiscent of another man famously lacking caution in his relationships: James Bond. On this evidence, expect Sandé to soundtrack a 007 movie within the next five years with the help of former grime man Khan.
A change of tone towards slow folk for Breaking the Law brings forth the album’s best lines: "Point it out, I’m gonna steal it / I will break in late at night, shake up how you’re feeling." Metaphorical though Sandé’s lyrics are, they retain a heartfelt truth, and it’s easy to imagine her peering round a corner at last summer’s protests and riots jotting notes feverishly.
Lifetime has a reference to books being burned and statues falling, while Hope includes the line, "I hope we can fix all that we burn". Barely a year after the Arab Spring, is it too much to hope for a politically-conscious pop star? One who can write brilliant songs and get fans thinking about something other than their broken hearts and rampant libidos?
The album ends with a version of Read All About It, the number one song she performed with Professor Green – whatever her motivation for including it here, neither Sandé’s talent nor ambition are in question. It seems unlikely she’ll make another album as restrained as this one, but it will be interesting to see whether she embraces a bolder sound, develops her own big ideas or, perhaps, delivers a captivating combination of the two.
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Top Customer Reviews
You will have heard and noticed some of the singles released, but I first became properly aware of her from her appearance on Jools Holland, where she did a stripped down version of 'heaven'. I liked the breakbeats /trip-hop version which is the opening track on the album, but when you hear it taken down to an acoustic level you really appreciate the raw talent. To that extent the comparisons with Adele are inevitable (given that Adele now sets the bench mark and did a similarly impressive live take of someone like you on the same show, and not least because Emeli's first name happens to be Adele!)
This is a record varied in style. There are some excellent pop songs with full pop production, as well as slower more acoustic numbers. Her great voice and gift for melody are the linking threads, but some may find that range of styles detracts - sometimes this feels more of a showcase than a coherent album. But what a showcase! Subject matter for songs tends towards love: lost, found and yearned for. The lyrics however are often fresh and intelligent, and on occasion ('river') seem to transcend the human towards religious overtones (well that's my take anyway).
In summary, this is a great debut which will have wide appeal. Highly recommended.
I'm always disappointed when greedy record labels re-release an album with additional bonus tracks (usually just before the festive season). My main gripe here is the fact that fans will have already bought the CD when it was initially released - making it the popular hit they rave about. It's those very same fans who are left with the expensive and wasteful option of possibly re-purchasing the whole CD just to get a few bonus tracks by an artist they've already supported. What exactly are we supposed to do with the original release?
Honestly - does this cause anything but irritation and resentment?
It is a greedy and unfair strategy - record companies, please stop it!
This will touch your heart,whether you're in love or not,or even grieving a lost love,it will lift you,move you to tears in parts,but whatever it does for you or wherever it takes you,I guarantee you'll be So Happy to have it in your collection now,after all it's the Magnificent & Beautiful Emeli Sandé so how could you not be,on any count whatsoever :-)
Emeli Sandé was born Adele Emeli Sandé Gouraguine on 10 March 1987 in Sunderland, Scotland, to a Zambian father and English mother. She was raised in Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland with her parents. It is interesting to learn that she decided against using the name Adele Sandé, due to Adele's growing success, so she used her middle name instead. She revealed: "I changed it as soon as Adele came out.” 2011 was Adele’s year, but 2012 belonged to Emeli Sandé. This CD “Our Version of Events” is the Number 1 selling CD in UK for the year 2012. Just like Adele’s 21, this CD also hit #1 numerous times and also stayed near the top for the entire year. She has also won numerous awards, including 2013 Brit Award for Best Female and Best Album. Amazing feat.
Besides a great soulful singer, Emeli is also a songwriter, writing songs for artists, like Susan Boyle (“This Will Be The Year”), Leona Lewis (“Trouble”), Cheryl Lloyd (“Lifetime”), etc. She first became known to the public eye after she featured on the track "Diamond Rings" by the rapper Chipmunk (UK 6/2009). She also hit #1 in UK Pop Chart as Featured Artists (Professor Green’s “Read All About It” (UK 1/2011) and Labrinth’s “Beneath Your Beautiful” (UK 1/2012), featured as bonus track in this CD.
On 27 July 2012, she sang "Abide with Me" at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and her song "Heaven" was used to accompany the section with Sir Tim Berners-Lee. NBC also used her song "Wonder" during the credits roll at the end of the tape-delayed ceremony broadcast in the United States.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love her voice, I gave this CD as a fathers day gift, my dad was unsure. However he gave it a listen to and now loves her.Published 27 days ago by suzanne k cruickshank
The phenomenal sales speak volumes when people have gotten over the Adele thing I can't wait for emeles follow up.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer