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Editors’ Notes

This London-born singer earns comparisons with past R&B/pop icons on her sophomore album Echo, keeping diva bombast to a minimum in favor of more smoldering, emotionally believable performances. To be sure, there are plenty of stellar producers (including Xenomania and Timbaland) on board to frame Lewis in stylish, high-gloss settings. The steamy “Can’t Breathe,” the throbbing “Fly Here Now” and the epochal “Lost Then Found” (featuring One Republic in seven-plus minutes of uplifting gospel/pop glory) load on the melodrama effectively. But even when she reaches for the Big Note, Lewis radiates honesty and class, as in the aching survivor’s anthem “Happy.” The sleek “Love Letter” and the techno-fueled “Outta My Head” lend some pop sparkle to the proceedings, and for extra celeb content, Justin Timberlake shares vocals on the slow-simmering “Don’t Let Me Down.” Throughout, Lewis shows taste and poise, knowing when to turn up her vocal power and when to hold back.

Customer Reviews

Lewis takes risks on 'Echo'

Fresh off her international smash ‘Spirit,’ Leona Lewis offers up another collection of diverse vocal exhibitions on ‘Echo.’ An all-star roster of writers and producers ranging from Ryan Tedder to Kevin Rudolf and Max Martin and led by Simon Cowell and Clive Davis are responsible for the disc, which does a lot to show she is not afraid to take a few risks.

‘Echo’ leads off with the mid-tempo “Happy,” co-written by Ryan Tedder, who was also responsible for the success of “Bleeding Love.” The song tries its best to be another “statement,” and although its lyrics carry with it a positive message, “Happy” ends up being one of the weaker tracks.

The second track, “I Got You,” is much more impressive and could be a huge hit at radio if given the chance thanks to the help of proven hit maker Max Martin. The relevant production elements on “I Got You” pair up with Lewis’ all-star vocals, with her lower register in the verses adding depth and richness.

There are more dance themes found on ‘Echo,’ which suits Lewis surprisingly well. “Outta My Head” is exhibit A of this sound, with synths accompanying Lewis’ upper register throughout the majority of the track. Despite the unoriginal lyrics, the song isn’t bad for what it bills itself as. On the 80’s influenced “Fly Here Now,” Lewis incorporates drum clashes and prominent backing vocals in her call to her lover to “fly like an airplane” into her arms. These are not the strongest songs on the album by any stretch, but they serve a purpose.

“Can’t Breathe” is useful in showcasing Lewis’ falsetto, but it sounds like it could work for a more R&B-leaning artist like Rihanna. Still, it fits in with the rest of the track list pretty nicely. The Kevin Rudolf-produced “Love Letter” takes on a slightly more pop/rock feel than anything else on ‘Echo,’ though it still would be suitable for AC radio. The lyrics are a bit slushy (“Now I believe that this is fate / cause baby we belong together / I know everything is gonna be okay / just as long as we have each other”), but they fit the production fairly well.

It would be crazy for Lewis not to tackle an assortment of big-voiced ballads, and so there is a good selection on ‘Echo.’ The John Shanks-produced “Alive” allows Lewis to rise out of the ashes like a phoenix to voice her resiliency (“Where do I go when I’m so alone / where do I turn when you are so close / we try not to crash but we still collide / tears I’ve cried / I’ll survive / I’m alive”). Other ballads that showcase Lewis’ strengths include the middle eastern-tinged “Brave” and the inspirational “My Hands.”These tracks are classic Lewis and really serve as the album’s heart.

“You Don’t Care” is another Tedder track and is probably the weakest offering on ‘Echo.’ It sounds like a OneRepublic leftover and should have been left off the U.S. edition in favor of the superior “Naked.”

The strongest offering on ‘Echo’ is without a doubt “Don’t Let Me Down,” thanks in part to the role Justin Timberlake played in writing and backing vocals. The beautifully mellow theme of “Down” and the vulnerability of Lewis’ vocals compared to the rest of the album’s tracks is top-notch, because she demonstrates constant glory notes are not always necessary to prove vocal prowess.

Lewis ends ‘Echo’ on a strong note with “Lost Then Found” featuring OneRepublic. Tedder’s vocals complement hers well, and even though the chorus is cookie-cutter Tedder songwriting, the overall production is excellent and the song’s message is positive. The hidden track “Stone Hearts & Hand Grenades” is a nice bonus because it is vulnerably yet beautifully sung.

Despite the fact that ‘Echo’ is not superior to ‘Spirit,’ it is definitely on a level playing field and shows that Leona Lewis is committed to incorporating new themes and sounds in her recording career, and it is highly likely she will have another hot one on her hands.

Love it

Love her. Love the Music. Love the lyrics. I like how she plays with the range of her voice and I just really love her music! Sucess!

A flawless album!...What a beautiful Echo!

Words cannot describe how pleased I am with this album! Leona Lewis has delivered once again! This album is an amazing work of art...the songs are moving, uplifting, and inspirational - and - her voice is breathtaking! This is the perfect follow-up album and I assure you that you will be satisfied with it! With that said, purchase this album and start enjoying the amazing music that springs from the lungs of Ms. Lewis! :D

Biography

Born: April 3, 1985 in Islington, London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A striking young woman with a strong vocal resemblance to the young Whitney Houston and a large mop of blonde corkscrew curls, Leona Lewis won the third series of the British reality talent show The X Factor in a landslide. Born and raised in the Islington section of north London, Lewis won a talent show at the age of 13 and devoted herself to music thereafter, eventually graduating from the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. While working as a receptionist and pizza waitress...
Full Bio
Echo, Leona Lewis
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Contemporary R&B
  • Released: Nov 17, 2009

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