Review - Alexandra Burke - Heartbreak On Hold
Alexandra’s last album (her debut) racked up five top ten hits (three of which were #1) in the UK. Granted, she was the latest winner of the X Factor over there so everyone was excited about her, but let’s not downplay her success. ‘Heartbreak On Hold’ has thus far produced one track that went to #3. Her second single managed a top 40 showing (#33), but quickly receded. I don’t see things getting much better from here.
‘Heartbreak On Hold’ sees Alexandra lose any personality or uniqueness that she had on her first album in favor of attempted hits. There are too many artists out there under too much pressure to have hit after hit, and when we live in that kind of music world, there are going to be casualties. Alexandra hired the typical songwriters and producers, but all she got were album tracks; very few of these songs have single-potential.
The album is the typical pop/dance thing we hear too much of now. Think Havana Brown’s “We Run The Night” mixed with a bit of Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” and you have a sense of most of the album. Doesn’t sound too bad, except most of the tracks on this album are the watered-down, atypical lyrically-constructed versions of those hits, and finding interesting moments takes some effort.
Not every song sounds the same, and ‘Heartbreak On Hold’ certainly isn’t the worst example of filler dance music. Lead single <a href="http://popbangboom.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-music-alexandra-burke.html">“Elephant (ft. Erick Morillo)”</a> has its hard bits, and “Love You That Much” contains remnants of horns and something different. The last track (and necessary go-to ballad moment for any pop album), “What Money Can’t Buy” is the only song that isn’t a call to the dancefloor and Alexandra actually does this one fairly well. The album is full of songs that would make you dance should they come on in a club, but you would be hard pressed to find anyone that could identify the singer.
Second single “Let It Go” and (my guess) third single “Heartbreak On Hold” are so overdone it’s boring and almost a slap in the face. The girl can sing, she can dance, and she had some awesome things to say on her first go. Sophomore slump can be a very ugly thing.
PS – listen to her song “Sitting On Top Of The World” doesn’t COMPLETELY rip off the structure of Donna Lewis’ 1996 hit “I Love You Always Forever”:
“Sitting On Top Of The World”
Donna Lewis – “I Love You Always Forever”
(you may have to listen to both for a minute or two, but you’ll see what I mean)
‘Heartbreak On Hold’ went on sale earlier in June, but not in the US. If you really want it that bad, you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Heartbreak-Hold-Alexandra-Burke/dp/B007T0MYEO/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1339826354&sr=1-1&keywords=alexandra+burke">order and import copy</a> for a huge markup (it is currently on sale for $23 for US customers), but I suggest saving your money.
Listen to: “Heartbreak On Hold” (which sets up the album), “Elephant (ft. Erick Morillo)”, “Tonight (ft. DJ Smash)” to hear what auto-tune run amuck sounds like, “Love You That Much”, and “What Money Can’t Buy”