Friday, February 17, 2012

'Our Version of Events' by Emeli Sandé

17 February 2012

Another week, another eagerly-anticipated debut album by a much-hyped young female singer songwriter. But it's not every week that the young woman in question is a former medical student from rural Aberdeenshire with English and Zambian parents. As you start to listen to 'Heaven', the opening track of Emeli Sandé's album 'Our Version of Events', it's easy to leap to the assumption, guided by the rapid background beats, that you're squarely in dance music territory. But the emergence of brass chords, leading to an epic orchestral backing, seems to take you into more of an R&B feel. And Sandé's voice is a powerful, soulful instrument. The further you travel into the album the less sure you are of where you would pigeon-hole this music. It's a clever and impressive collection of pop songs, ranging from the delicate simplicity of 'Where I Sleep', to the whispered vocals of 'Mountains' to the piano ballad 'Clown'. There's a particularly strong strand of sad but gorgeous songs such as 'Daddy' and 'Maybe'. 'Our Version of Events' is a cool, varied and sophisticated first album: it will be interesting to see what Emeli does next.

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