Estelle's transition to singing has always been a controversial move, but was it a good one?
Since her smash hit 'American Boy' with rap superstar Kanye West, singer Estelle hasn't really wowed the public with any of later music.
Having moved to America to launch her career, there hasn't been much talk of Estelle on this side of the pond. Cue an album with an interesting mix of featuring artists including, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Rick Ross and Janelle Monae, and that should stir up the public's interest in the once loved Estelle. Even with backlash from some fans who prefer the artist as a rapper as opposed to a singer, this album serves up both sides of the entertainer.
The album is full of big head pounding beats that shouldn't have necessarily been given to her, obvious American influences that don't always work, somewhat catchy lyrics and featuring artists who hold their own in the songs. The only one who doesn't quite reach the bar is Estelle. Her singing lacks depth, and is not strong enough to pull of a predomiantly singing based album.
'I Want You Back' features interesting electro-pop sounds, with Estelle's raspy high-pitched voice lumbered on top of it in addition to weak unnecessary background vocals. Unfortunately, this is the case for several other songs, but 'Break My Heart' featuring Rick Ross is the most painful. The beat alone sounds as though it was talior-made for Rick Ross, with a mixture of a bass guitar and the occasional input from a couple classic string instruments and a constant drum in the background. Her perfomance wouldn't have been so lifeless if she was supported by another singer.
That's not to say all of Estelle's singing attempts are fails. Her voice blossoms in 'Wonderful Life,' an upbeat happy go lucky song about looking on the brighter side of life. It even features an extremely brief glimpse of the old rapper Estelle. Her singing in 'Thank You' is equally good, her low smooth voice represents the melancholy tone of the song, although the hints of auto-tune ruin it slightly.
Estelle's voice is best displayed when it's accompained with a couple of simple instruments, no cheesy cringey outbursts like "swag!" or "Trigger!" and no weird unnatural voices/accents as heard in 'International (Serious).' 'The Life' and 'Speak Ya Mind and 'International (Serious)' are Estelle's rap based songs and apart from 'International (Serious),' they all sound amazing.
In 'The Life' it features a brief shrill singing of the chorus at the begining but once that's over, you're hit with a pounding bass and Estelle's reinvented rap skills. The only flaw in her rap game are her odd punch lines - "Imma say whatever I like and that's me, you can take your opinions and eat cheese."
All Of Me won't catapault Estelle back into the limelight, but it could quite possibly re launch her rap career.