Review : Alexandra Burke - Heartbreak on Hold
Digital SpyAlexandra Burke has been keen to let the world and his mistress know that she's executive produced her second album, the follow-up to her post-X Factor debut Overcome. Given the record showed heaps of promise, not only does she have a mighty job on her hands, but the buck lies solely with her if she falls short of expectations.
The message is simple: to forget life's troubles and have a good time. Which would be fine, if the charts weren't already clogged up with similar affirmations to the same Euro-pop tune. Opener and title track 'Heartbreak on Hold' lays it out easily enough, while current single 'Let It Go' succeeds in being insanely addictive despite its obvious generic chart traits.
Separating Burke from her contemporaries is her voice, which soars effortlessly over big, club-thumping anthems 'This Love Will Survive' and 'Sitting on Top of the World'. Though you'd be forgiven for mistaking her for a Kelly Llorenna type on the heavily Auto-Tuned and cliché-ridden 'Fire' ("Nothing can cool me down/ Not how I feel right now") and 'Oh La La', which even borrows a bit from Crystal Waters's club classic 'Gypsy Woman'...full text
GuardianX Factor 2008 winner Alexandra Burke is credited as executive producer on her second album, and it seems to be more than just a vanity title: "The amount of control I've had is unreal," she says. So the buck stops with her, and only she can explain why Heartbreak on Hold falls back on the Auto-Tuned pyrotechnics and clinical club-pop that have turned the singles chart into a featureless wasteland. At this stage, it's counter-productive for her to be cultivating a resemblance to Nicole Scherzinger, Rita Ora and the rest of the power-diva sisterhood, but that's what Heartbreak on Hold does. From the first (title) track, which opens with rave-style synths and a brass-lunged declaration that she's going to dance away her heartache, Burke follows a well-travelled road, losing her likable personality en route. In place of amiable, very Brit hits such as Broken Heels are anonymous international dancefloor fodder (Let It Go), 1990s retreads (Elephant , whose central feature is a vocal that's been Vocodered into complete anonymity) and Kylie-ish Eurodisco (the admittedly infectious Love You That Much)....full text
IndependentAlexandra Burke claims that, as executive producer of her follow-up to Overcome, she's ensured that Heartbreak on Hold is a much more personal album.
Well, up to a point, perhaps: the songs (only two of which are actually written by her) cover the well-trodden terrain of heartbreak and hope, while the plethora of producers renders the music blandly generic, another round of Guetta-style synth-stomps and incessant keyboard vamps, largely interchangeable with those on Rihanna's and Madonna's last albums. Burke's best represented on "Between the Sheets", shifting comfortably from intimate confidante to exultant pleader, but when she strips the arrangement back to the revealing nakedness of "What Money Can't Buy", the results aren't all that flattering....full text
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