Review - Emeli Sande - Our Version Of Events
Emeli Sande’s debut album ‘Our Version of Events’ is FINALLY out in the US. THANK GOD (you know how I’ve been waiting for this).
Sande has written for many UK pop acts (Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon, etc), and she is somehow able to carry the catchiness and she fills the album with hooks which aren’t labeled as pop but certainly have a mainstream, radio-friendly quality about them (see: “Next To Me”, which could also have been on Alicia Keys’ last album). ‘Our Version’ is an R&B/soul album, but it is primed and ready for the spotlight, as it did extremely well in the UK single-wise.
Sande has a voice all her own, even if it may sound strikingly like Beyonce. Her songwriting, style, and musical sound are hers and hers alone. Labels have been looking for an R&B act that can produce the hits for years now, and they have finally found it in Emeli. ‘Our Version’ sounds like what Beyonce wanted her ‘4’ album to be – art before commercialism. Thankfully for us, Emeli’s art is commercial as well.
Emeli croons (sometimes harder and sometimes softer) through the entire CD, capturing your attention and refusing to let go for fifteen fantastic tracks. Every song is heartfelt, strong, but not overwhelming. Emeli doesn’t need cheap vocal or production tricks to evoke emotion on the part of the listener – she simply can’t help but bring up intense feelings. “My Kind of Love” (a personal favorite of mine) is the pinnacle of such songs – powerful, beautiful.
At no point does anything sound repetitive or already-done, as so many R&B albums have. I’m a big fan of the genre when done well, but a lot of what I hear sounds just like so-and-so, and you have a hard time saying that some people’s music stands out from others. Emeli’s voice may sound a bit too Bey on some tracks, but make no mistake – the album is entirely hers.
Listen to: everything, especially the singles “Heaven”, “Daddy (ft. Naughty Boy)”, “Next To Me”, “My Kind Of Love”, and “Wonder”, which is rumored to be a US kind of thing.