Album: Estelle, Shine (Homeschool/Atlantic)
Friday 28 March 2008
Cee-Lo adds his own touch of class to Estelle's "Pretty Please", but the most dominant figure behind this follow-up to The 18th Day is pianist/producer John Legend, who made the London singer the first signing to his Homeschool label.
Legend has rifled his contacts book for a stellar array of collaborators, including will.i.am, Mark Ronson, Wyclef, Swizz Beats and, most notably, Kanye West, unconvincingly claiming he dresses "like a London bloke" on the hit "American Boy". It speaks volumes for Estelle's abilities that it's her character, not theirs, which drives Shine. For "Magnificent", Ronson constructs a two-step ska-pop groove in the style of his work for Lily Allen, while will.i.am employs sequenced stabs of samples from Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You" as the basis for "Wait a Minute (Just a Touch)", in which Estelle tells a faithless partner she's disinclined to "carry your embryo". The mild assertiveness of her tone, here and when claiming in "More Than Friends" that "I am not that 'ho, I am so much more", is much more appealing than the bitchiness that's become the lingua franca for most American divas.
Pick of the album: 'Pretty Please', 'Wait a Minute (Just a Touch)', 'Back In Love'
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Enrique Iglesias injured trying to catch a drone mid concert
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
- 4 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history