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4.1 out of 5 stars
Spirit
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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.

Amanda Richards
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on December 26, 2007
You will love Leona Lewis.

From beginning to end Leona showcases her amazing vocal talent. She has a sweet voice, but can reach the highest notes....and would put Mariah to shame.

The album actually reminds me of Mariah's debut...a mix of ballads and up tempo songs.

Some favourite songs are Better in Time, Bleeding Love, Whatever it takes.

She does an amazing job on the classic, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. She sings it the way it should be sung....with control, with the tone you wished Celine used in the cover.

Buy the cd...you will not be disappointed.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2008
The 22-year-old singer from Hackney has landed the Billboard Hot 100 chart Number One with her ballad "Bleeding Love".
The Americans have gone mad for this Mariah Carey-inspired ballad fest. All she needs to do is smile sweetly while she rakes in the dollars.
The last British female solo artist to do the same was Kim Wilde in 1987, with her cover of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On".
It's also the first time in 27 years that a British female artist has debuted at Number One in the US Top 100 Single Chart.
That feat was last achieved in 1981 by Sheena Easton with "Morning Train "(Nine To Five).
The last British woman to top the US album chart was Sade with "Promise" in 1986.
Leona Lewis is the quiet girl with a big voice who conquered the 2006 British "X Factor" ( equivalent of American Idol), singing her way to glory with a spectacular set of lungs and endearing herself to the voting public with her sweet personality.
She stormed to number one British chart last Christmas with the winning X Factor single handed to her by the show's producers.
Lewis sings her heart out through stories of loves lost and conquered, with allusions to already established octave-vaulting female divas - Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera - audible in every warble.
She has the technical chops to pull off the imitation.
Tills ringing in their ears, Simon Cowell and Clive Davis have duly stuffed her debut album with songs which sound like offcuts from those other divas' repertoires - rent-a-gospel-choir here, the pretence of some tough R&B attitude there; "inspirational" lyrics and key changes preferred.
The result is an album of almost clockwork perfection - containing enough hits to keep her on the radio till next Christmas ("Better in Time" and "Whatever it Takes" are both as classy as the majestic "Bleeding Love"). But in the end they were able to craft only a bland, glossy pop album, strong on mid-tempo balladry and spiralling vocal gyrations, but short on hooks, innovation and personality.
"Bleeding Love" is the highlight of the album, a superb single that could almost be a sequel to Houston's 1987 classic "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)".
.."Spirit pays quivering lip service to ideas of beauty and talent and 'specialness', but is ultimately too manufactured even to be great manufactured pop. If Lewis is looking for the greatest love of all - public adoration - she will have to do better than this".Times.
Hard to love, hard to hate - but the whole world will buy it.
It's a testament, this, to Simon Cowell's business nous that he resisted a rushed covers album and instead enlisted powerful US music mogul Clive Davis to attract a bevy of America's most successful songwriters to pen a tune for the attractive British young lady.
Leona's success is assured and her talent plain to see, but her musical credibility is still hanging in the balance. Hopefully her second and third albums, which will surely follow, will not be an imitation of former success stories but an example of 21st century pop finery.
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on September 21, 2014
Bleeding Love EXCELLENT song
5 other tracks are also good.
Leona Lewis has a wonderful voice that's
going to make her a Big Big Star in the near future!!!!!
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on November 27, 2014
We enjoy her tone, range and control in almost every song she sings. Sweet sounds for our ears.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2009
Although I have to say way to many ballads and some of the songs sound the same or too similar I still say a strong first album. Bleeding Love is a beautiful songs and Better In Time is another good one. Forgive Me is a good dance number and Footprints in the Sand is one of my favorites on the album. Take a Bow is another great song along with I Will Be. This album is great if you want something soulful and with good love songs but if you are into a party this is not for you. I personaly can't wait to see what she wil come up with next! :)
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on July 26, 2015
Thanks!!!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2009
this is my wife cd.but after listing to it a few times it grow's on you.i enjoy listening to this cd and will buy it myself soon.great voice.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
I haven't purchased or owned this album. It sounds as if there's the same old R&B beat. All I can hear his her talented high pitched singing voice and there's no deep emotion in her singing. The producers and the whole team behind the creation of the record aren't very creative. The song lyrics aren't that bad.
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