Album: Estelle, All of Me (Atlantic)


Estelle bangs on about being "London with an uptown swing" on the first few tracks of the belated follow-up to Shine, but methinks she doth protest too much: the homegrown characteristics of her distinctive style have been all but washed away in a flood of R&B clichés on All of Me, a routine blend of fidgety grooves and tiresome ruminations on life and love.

Worst of all are the spoken interludes, in which brain-dead Americans prate on about relationships in a manner guaranteed to send prospective partners into hiding. But a failure to establish any momentum cripples the album, as different producers apply their various methods to Estelle's songs. When Janelle Monáe sparks the final track, "Do My Thing", into life, it leaves you thinking: if only the rest of the album had this sort of pep.

DOWNLOAD THIS Do My Thing; Back to Love