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Smoke

Lisa Lois

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Album Review

After rising to fame on the Dutch version of the reality television show X Factor, Lisa Lois made her full-length album debut with Smoke, a soul-pop effort produced in London that follows in the footsteps of Amy Winehouse and innumerable other British vocalists with the same style. While the style of Smoke is overly typical of the soul-pop style popularized by Winehouse on her international blockbuster Back to Black (2006), albeit heavy on straight-edged ballads and without the throwback vibe of that landmark album, it's a suitable showcase for Lois as a vocalist with impressive pipes. Well aware of her mainstream appeal as a first-place winner on X Factor, the heretofore unknown London-based production team TMS (Tom Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Ben Kohn) crafts a full album's worth of soul-pop that's firmly middle of the road. Hence the reliance on strong-willed ballads and sappy string arrangements. For instance, whereas Winehouse sang about how her man knows that she's no good on "You Know I'm No Good," Lois sings how her man is no good for her on "No Good for Me." This album-opening highlight is one of several songs that were penned for Lois by British singer/songwriter Pixie Lott and songwriter/producer Phil Thornalley. This is another notable difference between Lois and Winehouse, who wrote her own songs on Back to Black. Lois may not be a songwriter in her own right, but she's surely capable of delivering the goods as a vocalist. There's no better instance of this on Smoke than album-closing cover of the Leonard Cohen standard "Hallelujah," performed sparely with only acoustic piano backing. It's an impressive rendition of an all-too-familiar song, and it speaks to the vocal talent of Lois, not to mention her command of English.

Biography

Born: June 22, 1987 in Wageningen, The Netherlands

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Lisa Lois is a Dutch pop singer who rose to chart-topping fame on the television show X Factor in 2009. Born Lisa Hordijk on June 22, 1987, in Wageningen, Netherlands, she was cast on the second season of X Factor. She eventually won first place in May 2009 and made her recording debut shortly thereafter with a version of the Leonard Cohen standard "Hallelujah." The song topped the Dutch singles chart for ten weeks straight. Initially billing herself as simply Lisa rather than Lisa Hordijk, she adopted...
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Smoke, Lisa Lois
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