Consider this, by way of explanation — Emeli Sandé is obviously an enormously talented 24 year-old. Her songwriting skills have, after all, helped prop up everyone from Susan Boyle and Tinie Tempah to that other talented 20-something, Professor Green. Her debut showcases some of those skills, as on standout track Daddy (‘My friends keep telling you what he did last night, how many girls he kissed, how many he liked)’ — a bold song that’s sung well and slickly produced.
It makes sense, therefore, that her writing should take centre-stage for much of the album. Hers is an old school approach that places emotion over the need to be clever for the sake of it. She is also that rare beast: a writer with great vocal chords. Listen to Heaven, for instance, where she smoothly goes ‘Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions, but the day it always lasts too long, then I’m gone.’ It demands repeated listening. Also noteworthy is Suitcase, about someone she loves walking out on her. Then there’s Next to Me, a curious song backed by beautiful harmonies. It’s a solid testament to what she is striving to do, both as a vocalist and a writer.
The other tracks, sadly, only sound like more of the above. We bet her sophomore album will be a killer though.