Saturday, April 05, 2008

Shine - Estelle

Image Hosted by

Imagine my surprise when I heard Estelle's new single American Boy; how in the hell did she drag Kanye West into the proceedings...? And then get him to rap about Ribena and WAGS? Little did I know that John Legend had taken a, ahem, shine to Estelle, signed her to his label and the rest is, as they say, history.

And it's a history few would have predicted given her first album's failure (it only scraped the top 40) and dare I say that Estelle herself might never have imagined the day where Mark Lamarr would be replaced by Kanye West in her video's...

You can't ignore the Kanye effect; last November, the single release of Wait A Minute failed to even trouble the Top 100, and it's difficult to imagine one of her non-collaborations would have fared any better. But credit where credit is due, American Boy is a great little pop song and if I'm being churlish it would be amazing if a record produced by ten of the finest producers John Legend's money can buy didn't come up with some sublime moments but even if nothing quite lives up to the single, there's more than enough to make this a worthwhile listen.

More Than Words is a lilting jazz-inspired track that Joss Stone would give up her year's supply of Flake's for, and the collaboration with Cee-Lo, the Mowtown-esque Pretty Please could conceivably follow American Boy to the upper reaches of the charts.

There are the duff moments for sure, and Estelle doesn't quite manage to carry off an entire album on her charismatic personality alone, but there are more than enough killer tracks and hooks here to please most pop fans.

No comments: