Bumper Album Review Post: Loreen, Taylor Swift and Leona Lewis

Loreen – Heal (Listen)

As Loreen’s sound is so distinct, it’s hard for her music to avoid being samey. She doesn’t quite escape that fate on her long-awaited debut album Heal, but with Eurovision winner Euphoria being one of the best singles of 2012 I can’t really complain about having an album full of similar songs. Euphoria and Loreen’s other Melodifestivalen entry My Heart Is Refusing Me are still the standouts, but other early favourites include opening track In My Head and the new single Crying Out Your Name, both traditional Loreen emo-dance belters. Unfortunately I don’t think the world wants Loreen to be more than a one hit wonder in the UK (most of the British media blanked Euphoria) but Heal is definitely good enough to make her a big name in the rest of Europe.

Taylor Swift – Red (Listen)

She may be one of the most successful artists of the century so far, but this is the first Taylor Swift album cycle where the British public have shown a real interest. Pop fans in particular seem to have mostly been won over by We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. The poppier tracks on Red are some of the best she’s ever done, particularly 22 and I Knew You Were Trouble. However, the rest of the album is less consistent than Fearless or Speak Now, where I loved every single song. I’ve hardly listened to some of the tracks at the latter end of Red, and it was an effort to get through the Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody collaborations even once. Nonetheless, the brilliance of the standout tracks makes any disappointment seem pedantic, so I’m giving it 5/5 anyway!

Leona Lewis – Glassheart (Listen)

What was meant to be a step forward for Leona ended up being a step back, after the wobble that was Collide. Glassheart has a few dance-influenced songs, but overall is just a collection of tracks that would appeal to someone who cites Bleeding Love as their all time favourite song. Like Leona herself, Glassheart is nice, with some impressive vocals, but pretty forgettable, which is a shame as some of the tracks on her previous album Echo showed much more strength and even, dare I say it, personality! Glassheart’s title track stands out a mile, a confident, interesting pop song suitable for 2012. In fact, it could have fit well on Loreen’s album! I also enjoyed Favourite Scar, the next catchiest song, and I appreciate its (probably unintentional) Britney reference.

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