Now, I’ve been a fan of Ella Henderson since she burst onto our screens on the X Factor back in 2012. Described as the next Adele after a number of blindingly beautiful performances, her shock departure made me want to scream curses at the television set. However I am happy to say that Miss Henderson has made a career for herself despite only coming sixth in the popular Saturday night television show and isn’t this an album to show off her powerful voice. When I decided to listen to this album I was a little worried; many of the X Factor stars bring out an album packed to the brim with covers of all our favourite songs then slowly fade into the horizon without a peep. The same I don’t think can be said of this soon to be starlet!
So unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere you will have heard the first track ‘Ghost’ storming the charts, being blared over various radio stations and blasted in clubs all over the country. As I said before, she has been compared to Adele and my can you hear it here. Her voice has a powerful and deep sound but when she hits the high notes it has an ethereal quality that you just can’t beat. The lyrics are catchy and I have found myself humming this song continuously at work; it is dying to be a karaoke hit in the future and in no means do I think that’s a bad thing. Empire is the second song on the album and it is clear that Miss Henderson is back with a kick; the lyrics and her voice soar with such a heady sound you can’t help but be astounded that it comes from such a young singer. Produced by the incredibly talented TMS, who if you didn’t know also produced the song DNA for Little Mix, Empire really shows off Ella’s voice to the max; the chorus is huge, the vocals are sublime and it is the perfect Friday going home track to get you excited for the weekend.
Track three is my favourite song from the album and that is Glow, I heard this on Radio one a little while back now and just immediately downloaded it and started obsessively playing it. This is a more mid-tempo stunner and Ella’s voice is really showed off. It really shows that Ella has moved on from her X Factor days and instead of the song being laden with cheesy key changes and an over-the-top assault of gimmicks and runs it is executed in a way that makes her voice sound very haunting. If you liked Coldplay’s track ‘Princess of China’ I think you will definitely be a fan of this tune. The next song Yours makes less of an impact; it’s quite slow but the tempo gives the listener something different. It reminds me of Adele all over again (I’ll try to stop making remarks but since Adele has gone a little under the radar recently we need a big powerful female voice back in the frame.) This is incredibly lulling and soulful and I listened to it recently on the way to work and felt a little weepy so be warned!
We quickly move onto the sass-tastic Mirror Man, unfortunately it’s the first song that feels like a filler. We all know the type, the songs that are popped in to add content but in a few weeks if you’ve haven’t listened to the album you might not remember this track. It’s a funk mix and the bass line is rocking throughout; I also liked the wittily place ‘YOU’ yells in parts of the chorus. Interesting, but not a stand out feature. Next we move onto Hard Work; okay scrap what I said earlier this is the song that makes you step back and realise that Ella is incredible but still a very young performer. The song is stunning and shows off her vocal ranger perfectly; she can really move between the high notes and the deeper notes and her range is quite incredible. I can see this song featuring on a chick-flick in the very near future just as the starring lady realises that she has made a terrible mistake deciding not to go with the broken man who has captured her heart. Wonderful.
I keep reading through this review and people will think I obsessed overthe range of her voice, but this song shows off the performance that she can really give; live I bet this song Pieces is just mesmerising. The runs and plays she makes sound effortless; it harks a little back to her X Factor days in terms of really pelting it out but it works because it’s the first time you feel like she’s really trying to show off her voice and because it’s different. Now, this is where it starts to falter and to be honest with you hitting track seven without a bump is pretty impressive. First Time, has more of an R&B, feel and it reminded me of the first few times that Cheryl Cole tried to mix her tracks so they had more of an urban sound. It’s definitely different but it doesn’t quite work with this album and it’s a shame. The next two tracks All Again and Give Your Heart Away are more power ballads; they work with her voice and they show that Ella has really found her groove. She knows how to sing these songs to perfection and it works. Good on girl!
Rockets is the only song on the album I didn’t like and it’s frustrating; it’s such an obvious gap filler that I’d have rather it just wasn’t included, preppy and pop funk it’s obviously shoved in right at the end to get another song in! I’d rather it was left out because the rest of the album is stellar. The album finishes with two wonderful songs, firstly Lay Down, an incredibly moving track that features only Ella and the notes of the piano. It’s a wonderful way to show off her voice and show she can really, REALLY, sing. The final track is the perfect way to wrap up this album and that is Missed. In a rather lovely touch you might remember this as the original song that Ella sang in her audition back where her journey began. It might be one way to end an album but this certainly isn’t the end of the road for the stunning singer Ella Henderson.