Let us tell you a short and not very interesting story. It was October 2007 and Radio 1 were about to play the new single by a certain young lady called Leona Lewis. The song was called ‘Bleeding Love’ and it was supposed to be the single to launch a new global superstar, yaddah yaddah yaddah. So, that now familiar organ swell kicked in, those vocals reared up and then that odd, almost cheap-sounding drum machine made the whole thing sound strangely, well, good. We were genuinely excited to hear it, which a lot of people will think is ridiculous because it’s a pop song and she’s from a talent show and it’s much more interesting and challenging to listen to Autechre or The Cribs, etc, etc. But, it would take a fool to suggest that ‘Bleeding Love’ isn’t amazing and though her singles after that seemed to gradually get worse, ‘Bleeding Love’ did what it set out to do; created a superstar.
Anyway, Lewis has a new single called ‘Happy’, which given her new found status might be just as important as ‘Bleeding Love’. Produced again by Ryan Tedder, it’s, well, it’s a bit, you know, er, ‘meh’. Basically, it’s a nice song and there are some nice moments but it doesn’t make our ears prick up and we can’t shake the feeling that the booming drums and quiet, loud, quiet, loud structure makes it no more than ‘Bleeding Love’s slightly duller sister.
Here it is:
Towards the end there are some ridiculous vocal gymnastics, which makes us think that given Whitney Houston‘s recent vocal problems (or, ‘the drugs’, as it’s also known) it’s basically Leona sticking her finger up in Houston’s face and saying “step back biatch, you’re in my house now”. Probably.