The eagerly anticipated album makes a huge impact within the first 30 seconds of the single 'Heaven'. No messing about on strings. No faffing about with the drum sample and no pissing about with some showey-offy overly ridiculous over the top vocal gymnastics. Just a concise, strong and tightly composed track. Heaven makes a reliable, catchy, well orchestrated and satisfying introductory track to the album.
Other singles 'Daddy' (WHICH by the way you haven't youtubed the remixes, then go and have a root around) is passionate, involves a bell and has shape, direction with once more, good orchestration and song writing. Meanwhile, 'Next To Me' proves to be an upbeat, soulful, strong, vocally led track. It sounds like it belongs to a GOOD Bridget Jones soundtrack. Singalong stuff. (I dare you NOT to attempt the backing/high pitched ooooos).
Ballads you should tune into include 'My Kind of Love' and 'Where I Sleep' which, in parts, admittedly does sound like a slowed down version of 'Next To Me'. But is otherwise concise, and gets the job done. 'Mountains' is a diamond track. Electric guitar led, with a gradual increase in texture that wraps itself like a cozy cozy blanket round the listener. Her voice wraps itself round the listener. Pretty effortless for Emeli, this one. But that's exactly what the track needs. (I heart 'cellos. They make everything wonderful.) 'Hope' is a strong track with R&B influences, predictable chords but just perhaps a tad too much reverb.
Slightly more up-beat track 'Maybe' uses a deliciously close vocal mike. I feel like I'm INSIDE Sande's MOUTH. If it wasn't for the repetitive 5th interval that gets pushed in the chorus and it'd been a little little bit more creative I'd really really love this track. Instead I just like it a lot. It spells out spring for me. I think it portrays potential well, it's not definitive in its musical tonality or direction vocally. It gives and takes a lot with no overly exploitative vocals until the end where it inevitably gets a bit passionate. Otherwise, I think it's very clever.
Tracks to sit up, shut up and listen to are; all the singles, ' Where I sleep', 'Breaking the Law' 'Mountains' and 'Lifetime'. In general, a good, uplifting album for this time of year, also for listening to on your bus route and when you have people over for a posh dinner.