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Shine

Estelle

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Reseña de álbum

The debut album from London native Estelle, 2004's The 18th Day, stalled at number 40 on the U.K. chart. Uneven and tentative but not without a handful of major standouts — like the wistful and animated "1980," where she displayed her MC'ing chops, and the Mary J. Blige-worthy slow groove "Dance with Me" — it wasn't enough to further her label's support. Estelle proposed a John Legend-produced follow-up, which V2 did not approve, so she relocated to the U.S. and secured a deal with Atlantic through Legend's Homeschool boutique label. Capping a cunningly punitive turn of events orchestrated by a once-shunned artist (i.e., "How ya like them apples?"), "American Boy" — a flirty disco-funk track featuring Kanye West and production from will.i.am, who re-heated the beat from his own "Impatient" — took a swift route the top of the U.K. pop chart. When Shine was released, just after the chart feat, the song had yet to make as much of a splash in the States; regardless of how the single or the album fares from a commercial standpoint, Estelle can at least be proud of having made a second full-length that builds upon and far outstrips her first. Wyclef Jean and will.i.am produce two songs each, while the remainder is divided between a wide-ranging cast including Mark Ronson, Jack Splash, and Swizz Beats, all of whom produce one track. Through it all, Estelle is the main attraction and is never upstaged or out of her depth, whether she is trading lines with Cee-Lo or Kanye West, switching between singing and rapping on "More Than Friends," or swapping out blissful rocksteady reggae for nerved-up glitz-pop. Most impressive is "So Much Out the Way," where she does the work of at least three vocalists of varying modes, all over a Wyclef concoction that alternates between tautly snapping jazz-funk (courtesy of Louis Johnson's bass from Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Hydra") and Wall of Sound soul (transformed from Bob Marley's "So Much Things to Say"). Not many vocalists could possibly navigate all this terrain without losing a beat, but Estelle has no trouble pulling it off with her versatility and easy-to-like personality. Her second act is ceaselessly enjoyable, one of the finer R&B albums to be released in 2008.

Biografía

Nacido(a): 18 de enero de 1980 en London, England

Género: R&B/Soul

Años de actividad: '00s, '10s

Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legend to Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London's renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and...
Biografía completa
Shine, Estelle
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