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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£3.39+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 2 April 2015
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on 31 March 2008
Imagine yourself being Estelle at her age. This is a really well laid out set of tracks. Estelle has done well to keep it real, despite having to go stateside to give us her second sample. She has given us a tasty eclectic mixture of reggae, disco, gospel, soul, rare and rap to name a common few and with her galaxy smooth vocals this album is just cute, yet manages to keep tight from start to finish. With some tracks you might think Floetry, Corrine, US production etc....okay but on the whole an american artist could not give us so much seasoning in one pot! This makes a great Spring debut as the weather is getting warmer and we need something local sounding to drive to and remind us why we (at times) like being different! Hope you enjoy and appreciate her efforts in our difficult UK market. Thanks Estelle.
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on 16 September 2008
Estelle has a good voice no doubt about it and American Boy is one of the songs of the summer. Sadly, such elements have failed to contribute to a memorable album which feels like a rushed cash in with production values so tired, you can ever hear them yawn!

American Boy sounded really fresh with a brilliant use of horns but the rest of the album is just derivative R&B that could have been produced by any female artist within the genre. Estelle struggles to stamp her own identity on any of the tracks and she just sounds like a vocalist singing someone else's work. Generally there is little passion and soul in this, I found myself barely noticing any differences between tracks. As a result, it feels more like lounge music than anything else.

There are highlights as the first three tracks are very good and are funnily enough the ones plugged on the case promo sticker. Then we have to wait until the duet with John Legend called You Are before anything interesting of note is heard. Nothing is bad, but I have so many albums in my collection like this and those artists do it better. The whole thing left me cold and it plods along at an anaemic pace, it felt like it ran for about 3 hours!
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I gave this one some time. I really did. "Don't let first
impressions get the better of you" - That's what I told myself.

I want to like Estelle but there's something disingenuous
about this album which keeps me at arm's length.

Perhaps it's the celebrity pals. A pretty blatant US market launchpad.

Perhaps it's the uneasy slipping and sliding between West London
and American brogues...NB 'More Than Friends'.

Perhaps it's that the voice is pretty ordinary truth be told.
Lacking in dynamic variation and uncertain in tone.

Of the twelve songs in this collection only a couple rise above the middle of the road.

'Come Over' and 'Pretty Please' both possess a degree of sassy charm.

'So Much Out The Way' and title track 'Shine' however are real stinkers.

Unfocussed and disappointing.
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on 26 November 2008
She had a hit called "1980" a few years back but I dismissed her as a one hit wonder and to be honest I wasn't blown away by her raps. When I heard she was working with John Legend I decided to sample it at the music store and realised that I had been completely wrong about her, she is a singer who raps not the other way around. More than that is that she has a beautiful voice.

When I heard the George Michael sample on "No Substitute Love" it was over, I had to get the album. The album is so nostalgic to me, I don't know if it is the samples e.g. Bob Marley on "So Much Out The Way" or it is the fact that she reminds me so much of Lauryn Hill.

The multitasking (rapping, writing & singing), the eclectic sounds (Reggae, Rock & Hip-hop influences) certainly justify comparisons to Lauryn Hill. But Estelle is her own woman. Her songs are not as heavy and are meant to be enjoyed without being taken too seriously.

The production on the album is top notch, not surprisingly given names like Will.I.Am, John Legend, Swiss Beatz & Mark Ronson. A criticism that might be levelled at the production is the over abundant use of samples but as stated earlier it adds to the nostalgia.

Overall the album is definitely a winner, the revolution of British soulstresses is in full swing. Estelle has something that the others ( Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Adele, Joss Stone etc.) do not have and that is a street sensibility and a light-heartedness.

Noteworthy tracks include the ballad "Come Over", "No Substitute Love" & the duet with Cee-Lo "Pretty Please", which sounds like a duet between Diana Ross & Aretha Franklin (Cee-Lo playing Aretha).
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on 11 June 2008
This album is one of the best, solid, seamless yet diverse albums I have heard in 2008. Estelle, for me, is filling that void in the market of credible, soulful R&B/rapper which was ploughed by Lauryn Hill with her 'Miseducation' album. Estelle is no Lauryn Hill, but I am more than satisfied to listen to this until Ms. Hill chooses to return.

After her debut THE 18th DAY I thought that we probably would not hear from her again and she would another talented British artist to disappear into obscurity because of a lack of penetration into the Top 10 yet alone the Top 40. This may be due to a number of American artists churning out R&B albums. So Estelle moves State-side to sign up with John Legend. I saw Estelle in concert with John Legend in 2005 and I am not surprised that they have teamed up. "American Boy" was a tremendous will.i.am produced Kanye West featured track (Kanye rapping about WAGs and Ribena!!) and there are a number of other track which illustrate Estelle's dexterity courtesy of production by Wyclef Jean (another Fugee), Mark Ronson, Swizz Beatz, Jack Splash and others. This album is great for summer and I listen to it regularly on the tube in London.
Estelle bravely covers Bob Marley's "So Much Things To Say" (like Lauryn Hill did with Bob) and creates a George Michael inspired No Substitute Love. "Come Over" is an beautiful ballardy tune which shows off Estelle's softer side a bit more. "Wait a Minute" featuring will.i.am manages to show the I'm-nobodies-fool side of Estelle with some moving production from will.i.am.

Estelle flows between singer to rapper effortlessly in this album on a few tracks and features with artists such as Cee-Lo on "Pretty Please" -- which is the MOST genuine JACKSON 5 sounding song I have heard post Jackson 5. "You Are" features John Legend where they sing back and forth to each other. A song that manages to sound intimate like you're the only other person witnessing this exchange.

I fear that this album will not shift as many units as it should. It won't show internationally that the UK is not just Amy Winehouse, Adele and Duffy. I always say just to download individual tracks for albums but this one really deserves to be listened to from beginning to end as the album's mood is really a journey from beginning to end. Maybe leave off Shine with Swizz Beatz if you want to save some money. This album is the yardstick for others to follow for a while.
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on 3 April 2008
I have waited for a new CD by Estelle for ages and just listening to this now and its better then the first. I love this CD
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on 25 May 2008
Estelle is the singer we have all been waiting for. A singer that has talent, can sing great hip-hop, is beautiful and who actually looks a cool and down to earth girl. Her sounds on this album are very original and I am always bopping along to this. The songs are groovy, original and perfect for a summer party. This girl cheers you up just by listening to her album. I don't think the music industry has heard such a fab sound before. She is the talent we have been searching for !! All the songs are great and if you liked American Boy buy this album ):
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on 24 August 2009
I must admit, I didn't expect this album to be as good as it is. But I'm addicted this this album and haven't taken it out of my car for about a year! It's a refreshing mix of Soul/RnB, Reggae and UK Hiphop (Come Over being my favourite). Although the album was produced in USA, there is not a hint of an American accent (which I would've hated)! She's not trying to be Beyonce, she's just being Estelle - a hugely talented UK artist.
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on 9 March 2008
I saw Estelle perform at the BBC Electric Proms a few months ago and she played a lot of her new material. Whilst staying true to her distinctive style we experienced with "The 18th Day", the songs on this album song totally fresh and unlike anything else on the market at the moment. The input of her new mentor John Legend might make it sound more "American" but the songs are excellent and Estelle's voice is incredible so I have no doubt they will shine through the production. In all honesty, Estelle is unlikely to do as well as she deserves to in the UK (like so many of our home-grown talents like Terri Walker and MIA) but if you give her a chance you'll grow to love her and you won't be able to stop yourself from dancing and singing along with her.
"Wait a Minute" was the first single to be released from this album and she will shortly be releasing "American Boy" which features man of the moment Kanye West.
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