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Posted by: Dave on May 30, 2008 at 10:58 am

EstelleShineNote: West London native Estelle is the first artist signed to John Legend’s new label, HomeSchool Records. He executive produced this debut album, which features guest vocals from Kanye West, Cee-Lo, Kardinal Offishall and Legend himself, plus production by A-listers will.i.am, Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean and Mark Ronson.
Sound: Estelle’s ability to jump from fierce raps to sensual crooning is reminiscent of Lauryn Hill (but with a London accent) as she bounces from genre to genre – hip hop- flavored r&b, pop-tinged reggae, funky soul and vintage Motown.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)”
Medium Rotation tracks: “American Boy” featuring Kanye West; “More Than Friends”; “In the Rain”; “Back In Love”; “Magnificent” featuring Kardinal Offishall
Recommended: Shine makes for a decent listen because the eclectic production is top-notch, her vocal skills are strong and the guest collaborators turn in solid contributions. But Estelle’s limited lyrical ability and the lack of standout hooks (other than first single “Wait A Minute”) are a detriment. Plus, the blatant, ‘60s-sounding tracks feel confused and disjointed amongst the modern styles on the rest of the album.
Grade: B

Listen to Tracks/Buy Music:
On iTunes
On amazon.com



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