Album Review: Estelle - 'Shine' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Estelle - 'Shine'

With Erykah losing her flare after she made her man call Tyrone and the abrupt absence of Lauryn Hill, it seemed that urban alternative lovers were down on their luck, but with the stunning entrance of Londoner Estelle it appears that help has finally arrived. On her American debut album, Estelle not only acquire an all-star cast, including John Legend, who executive produced the set,, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West and Cee—Lo, but she also took risks that few artists in this new age of music are willing to do. From her strong bulky singing voice to her obviously skilled rapping one, Estelle manages to mix what old school entertainers bought to the table, while still putting her own spin on it. From the opening track, 'Wait a Minute (Just a Touch)', produced by, to the Kanye West assisted 'American Boy', she proves that she has an ear for catchy songs that the general public will find appealing. 'Magnificent' features the songstress singing over a Mark Ronson beat to which her voice beautifully rides over and if that wasn't enough, she also adds Kardinal Offishall to give the track a more drastic feel. The only thing about the album that takes about from it is the fact that it doesn't have a single great track, just a bunch of good ones, 'You Are' featuring John Legend gets close, but although Estelle showcases some strong vocals, guest John Legend somehow manages to steal the spotlight. The same occurs on 'Pretty Please (Love Me)', which is draped in a early 60’s soul vibe, but Estelle's voice gets drowned by the band of soul. Estelle captures your attention on every single track, but on most she doesn't hold it for long, because she refuses to let the music flow naturally from her soul. More than anything the album proves that Estelle isn't afraid to take risk, as she tackles genres from modern R&B, dancehall, Sarah Vaughan—style jazz , reggae, soul, and hip-hop.

Shine is overflowing with enough style and originality to serve as a preview of the potential greatness that can be called Estelle. The album isn't a classic like Lauryn's debut, but it proves that if she's willing to seize it, then there’s a classic album in Estelle’s future.

4 out of 5

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