Reinvention is a tricky thing. Many artists are able to gradually ease their way into something new and others thrust themselves into an entirely different world without hesitation.
Then, there are other artists who stay somewhere in between.
“Glassheart” is the third studio album for Leona Lewis, the winner of the third series of The X Factor in the United Kingdom.
Lewis attended the London School for Performing Arts and Technology, otherwise known as The BRIT School. Other graduates include Adele, Amy Winehouse and Kate Nash.
After winning, Lewis signed a recording contract with legendary record producer Clive Davis and released “Spirit” in 2007 and “Echo” in 2009. Both albums were very successful and confirmed her role as a pop star.
Her third album contains traces of the ballads that brought her up the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K., but it lacks the cohesiveness and complexity of her previous albums.
Part of the album is spent experimenting with new sounds and the other is spent recreating her previous soulful side. Some of the results are positive, but others create a sense of disorder.
It has so many different personalities that you could almost swear you were listening to three entirely different artists.
There are an assortment of heartfelt ballads, pop-friendly dubstep and playful dance songs on this album and they don’t get along.
In “Trouble”, Lewis gives us a simple pop song reminiscent of her idol Whitney Houston. A simple piano melody guides the song, but it lacks a good pop hook.
“Come Alive” opens with a darker tone, building gradually to a dubstep-inspired bass drop. It’s enough to make dubstep fans everywhere wince. The lyrics are unsubstantial, and a majority of the song consists of her singing, “See when I come alive” repeatedly, but it will definitely become a dance club staple.
The melody from Tears for Fears’ “Head over Heels” leads us through “Favorite Scar.” Her attitude is much more in your face throughout this song. The vibe is commanding and it suits her.
“Fingerprint” and “Fireflies” are simple and forgo much of the highly produced beats of other songs in favor of gentle piano melodies and a display of her vocal skills. The songs are sweet and well executed, but they leave you wanting more.
Give us the gut-wrenching love songs of Adele or the forceful beats of Rihanna, but don’t leave us hanging somewhere in between. It’s undeniable that Leona Lewis has a strong voice, with a high octave range.
It’s obvious that she tried very hard to make “Glassheart” relevant to the audience of today, who has changed dramatically since her last album in 2009, but it seems that she has tried too hard.
Her inspiration came from so many different places that it makes it difficult for the album to work together as a whole.
Unfortunately, aside from a few catchy pop songs and a couple ballads, this genre-confused album failed to deliver.