Lunes 19 de Octubre de 2009 22:40
Pedro Aneudys Santana
Having won the same show that launched Leona Lewis into superstardom and, on top of that, having earned Beyonce’s seal of approval after performing a duet of her power ballad, Listen, with her; Alexandra Burke is definitely under pressure to impress with the release of her debut album Overcome. The girl captivated audiences and judge Simon Cowell on the show The X-Factor by successfully tackling songs from big singers like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Christina Aguilera. After her victory, the British Pop/R&B singer has been prepping for the release of her album by hitting studios both in the U.K. and America. Thankfully, Alexandra sets herself apart from other singing competition winners by not being just another “ballad-whore” and deciding to make up-beat dace songs the priority in her career.
Released on October 19, 2009, Overcome is a solid effort by Burke to introduce herself into the music industry and it’s made up of up-tempo, electronic-dance songs with a little bit of Motown elements and a few ballads thrown into the mix. It starts off with the first single, Bad Boys, featuring rapper Flo Rida. The song has a cool siren sound effect that flickers back and forth between speakers giving it a dangerous vibe. On Good Night, Good Morning, where she works in collaboration with Ne-Yo, they basically ask themselves whether they should hook up after a night of clubbing. All Night Long is a great feel-good song that can be played right before the start of a long night of partying out, just to get you in a dancing mood. The track Bury Me (6 Feet Under),produced by ELEMENT, incorporates old-school Motown soul characteristics, making it one of the most intriguing songs in the album. There is also the fun and playful female empowering anthem Broken Heels where the lyrics declare, “All the ladies tell the fellas we can do what they can do. We can do it even better in broken heels”. When it comes to the ballads, The Silence, is hands down the best one in the album. Burke’s expanding soaring voice creates a gloomy atmosphere that suits the song’s lyrics perfectly. The closing song is a cover version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, her X-Factor winning single, a respectable attempt with a nice gospel choir at the end.
Unfortunately, the album is not without its unenthusiastic moments. The title track, Overcome, is a production by The Runaways; the same people who co-produced Jordin Spark’s ballad, Battlefield. The song’s production sounds similar to it, and its chorus gives you a sense of déjà vu from Mariah Carey’s Every Time You Need a Friend. While this is not a terrible song, not even Alexandra’s unique smoky and gravelly voice can save this song from drowning in a sea of unoriginality and I pray to the heavens for it never to see the light of day as a single. Then there are the forgettable tunes of You Broke My Heart and the tasteless and, in my opinion, excess lyrics of Gotta Go.
This is a great album but not a brilliant one. It is a lot of fun to listen to and it shows what her voice is capable of, but it somewhat fails to provide Alexandra with an original, signature sound to set her apart from current divas in the business. Nonetheless, with the right songs selected as singles, Overcome has the potential to elevate Burke to the successful level of her inevitable rival Leona Lewis and, hopefully, carve a path to an even better sophomore album.