ALBUM REVIEW: Emeli Sandé – Our Version Of Events [2012]

I make no bones about it – Our Version Of Events was the album that I was most looking forward to out of all of the albums that have been announced for this year. I’ve been on board as an Emeli Sandé fan from prior to her first release, and was very excited at the idea of a wider context in which to place all of these hurriedly rushed out singles, on the back of her recent successes.

Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed when I came to listen to Our Version Of Events today.

We’ve definitely had her best material released as singles thus far, and I’m hoping that the delay in getting this album out, doesn’t mean they’re going to milk it for more singles – hopefully there will be another album in the coming months. I can’t believe that her album has been out 36 hours, and I’m already ready for the next one.

What I’ve done is to make comments on each track as I listened to it earlier, so whilst my comments are a little disjointed, they do reflect how I felt on the first listen about the track, and I usually stick by my first impression.

Love her style, love her voice, and, undoubtedly, she’s a great asset to the UK music industry – both as a performer and a writer.

SUMMARY: Some songs are anthemic and will speak to you, but if you’ve got the singles already, there is no need to flesh out your Emeli Sandé library further at this moment in time…

HEAVEN

ANTHEMIC! I pegged this last year well in advance of its release as the stand-out track of 2011, and I’m SO pleased that it’s all been borne out. Loving the roughly cut gothic gospel elements, the epic transpose come the chorus, the use of brass, and that phat bass!

MY KIND OF LOVE

I love that you really get the vocal coming through on this track. It’s got a certain level of atmosphere behind it, and that it retains the gospel elements from HEAVEN; making this a great second track and establishing a sense of cohesion/sound. I wouldn’t expect this to be released as a single however.

WHERE I SLEEP

Has a bit of a Destiny’s Child ‘Brown Eyes’ style of vocals to it at the start, which I’ve recently rediscovered, and rather like. A short track at 2:11, it has a beautiful little message, and gives a real sense of life affirming validation to the listener. This is where I feel safe enough to total strip myself back to the person that I really am, this is where the show stops; this is totally me.

MOUNTAINS

This track has grabbed me less than all of the others, I feel. I do like the orchestrations, which I have perhaps missed from some of her previous releases; however, I’d love to hear her do a big Celine style ballad, rather than a song like MOUNTAINS, which kind of just hovers at Pennine level, rather than soaring to the levels of Mount Everest!

CLOWN

After sitting through MOUNTAINS, I think that CLOWN was the last thing that I needed. This is another track that has slightly underwhelmed me, which I hate to even dare say in relation to this artist! On a positive note, the piano and delicate vocal are lovely, and her diction comes across perfectly, which I enjoyed. CLOWN is definitely better than MOUNTAINS, however, and it gets a lot more engaging towards the end of the track – stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded.

DADDY

Another of the singles from the album, DADDY is a fantastic track, a return to the gothic gospel sounds of HEAVEN, which really do work for the artist. One of the album’s standout tracks.

MAYBE

Most of this track had actually gone by, before I realised that I was listening to it. It’s got some nice sentiments and orchestrations to it, but another track that has failed to grab me, I’m afraid. I don’t really see myself ever going ‘oh, I really want to listen to MAYBE’…

SUITCASE

Now this song, I do like! It’s fairly similar to the ones that I’ve not been so warm about previously, however, the song has a rawer message than the others, and the sentiment really comes through – it’s impossible to listen to the song and not get enveloped in to the story. I also like that the song retains a sense of grace and firmness, despite the sad lyrical content – a good contrast.

BREAKING THE LAW

A very stripped back and acoustic song, but ultimately bland, sorry!

NEXT TO ME

CHOOOOOOOOON! Absolutely love this, and very glad it got released as a single – it’s got an awesome bass and melody, and really shows off Emeli’s vocal talents! I could listen to this on a loop all day, happily! Next tooooo meeee-heeeee, ooooh-hhhhoooo! ^_^

This stripped back vocal version for Jools Holland is awesomesauce!

RIVER

Within two seconds, decided that I liked this song. Very elegant and has a great vocal.

LIFETIME

Infectious sounding track, really liked this – hope that it gets released as a single.

HOPE

A bit of a Celine-esque song at last!!!! Really nice, and a bit of a subdued/elegant diva song, good rhythm to it, really puts her up there with other contemporary songstress!

READ ALL ABOUT IT (Pt. III)

The original track, previously sampled on Professor Green’s phenomenal single – whilst I ADORE the Professor Green version, this more stripped back vocal version is absolutely STUNNING! A great way to close the album, and it’s fab to finally get the surprise that perhaps I’d been waiting for from this album!

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About Gari

Thirty-Two year old northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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