Having never been a fan of Rita Ora, I was totally won round by her more recent output (all included here) - particularly the Avicii-assisted 'Lonely Together' and the wistful electropop of 'Anywhere' (which took vocal processing to new artistic heights, creating a fantastic hook that completely distorted the lyrics and yet somehow felt absolutely perfectly placed).
Of the new tracks on 'Phoenix' my clear favourite is the instantly catchy 'New Look' which follows the same template as recent hits but has an undeniable, standout chorus that nails the joyful melody / sad lyrics trick. The bassline lends the chorus huge impetus and that vocal processing is again used to maximum effect. The other tracks that conform to the 'wistful electropop banger' template include 'First Time High' and 'Falling To Pieces'.
The best of the rest is 'Only Want You' which take the tempo down a notch but is blessed with some lovely ethereal vocals and the kind of bassline that Leona Lewis previously made her own.
The exceptionally long wait for this album to appear means that the listener is already very familiar with many of the tracks and it does has the feel of a 'greatest hits'. But at a time when we're often left with three or four good tracks on the average pop album it's great to hear a collection that's packed full of catchy, melodic and unapologetically commercial pop music.
I love Rita Ora and her unique voice and style. I also adore the beats she accompanies her songs with. I like this album a lot. Something for everyone with varying dynamics and tempo. Good buy and well worth the wait.