Sunday, 11 March 2012

EVERYTHING SHE WANTS: Estelle shows a new dimension on All of Me

ROCKER CHIC: Estelle lets loose on new CD.

When British-born R&B singer Estelle burst onto the scene with 2008’s funky smash “American Boy” (with megastar Kanye West), off her platinum-selling debut, Shine, one got the sense that this was a talented songstress attempting to find her way and establish a reputable name for herself across the pond.

Fast-forward to 2012, and Estelle is not only a household name, she has picked up a Grammy, and has earned props for melding hypnotic melodies and evocative lyrics in crafting a compelling brand of contemporary R&B-soul, with occasional touches of electro-pop and hip-hop.

The edgy singer-songwriter, who has in the past collaborated with the likes of Sean Paul and John Legend, doesn’t stray too far from her tried-and-proven formula on her solid 15-track sophomore album, All of Me, but here she emerges as a more assured version of lavishly gifted self.

Still, while such tracks as the swag-drenched “International (Serious),” alongside bad boys Chris Brown and Trey Songz, suggests an attempt to appeal to a wider youthful demographic, classy joints like “Thank You” and “Break My Heart” (featuring rapper Miami-based rapper Rick Ross) reminds us why we fell for Estelle in the first place. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+

DOWNLOAD: The funkadelic “Do My Thing,” featuring Janelle Monáe

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