Most helpful positive review
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Good, but "over-balladed"
on May 13, 2008
This is a strong debut album from X-Factor winner Leona Lewis, the only potential problems being a surfeit of ballads, and a large dose of overexposure. The British born singer/songwriter is of Guyanese/Welsh parentage, and was no stranger to performing before catching the eye of Simon Cowell, who moved heaven, earth and Clive Davis to ensure that this album had all the backing it needed.
Even before the album was released, she already had a hit single with her version of the Kelly Clarkson song "A Moment Like This", which can be found as a bonus on the UK version of the album. Please note that the track listing for the UK Version is different to the US and Canadian releases. The songs "Forgive Me" (produced by Akon) and "Misses Glass" on this version take the place of "Homeless" (a slow R&B ballad) and "The Best You Never Had" (a slightly faster ballad).
Songs of interest are "Bleeding Love", the first single from the album; "Better in Time", the second single (pop/R&B) which reminds me of Alicia Keys "No One"; "I Will Be", a cover of the Avril Lavigne song; "Yesterday", a pop/R&B track where she sounds like Mariah Carey; "Take A Bow", a radio-friendly R&B track; and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a cover of the Roberta Flack hit written by Ewan MacColl. Lewis also co-wrote the songs "Whatever It Takes", a mid-tempo R&B track, and "Here I Am", a pop ballad.
Special mention should be made of the powerful and emotional ballad "Footprints in the Sand" inspired by the famous poem by Mary Stevenson, which ends:
The Lord replied
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
Is when I carried you."
Undoubtedly talented, strikingly photogenic, and with a lovely voice, it seems a bit early for all the comparisons to Mariah Carey and early Whitney Houston, but I do believe that we'll be hearing a lot more from Leona Lewis.