Will her sophomore album match the success of Overcome?
After the success of her debut album, Alexandra Burke took three years to release Heartbreak On Hold. The X Factor winner said she wanted to take both her time and the reigns on this record, which she co-wrote and executive produced.
In the album sleeve Alex describes the album as a "piece of (her) heart" and the title suggests just that. The opening track acts as a great introduction, signalling that it will have a dancier feel than her first offering.
The lead track Elephant, which features Erick Morillo, peaked at No 3 in the UK charts – and with good reason. The strength of this tune is that, although you've heard it a hundred times, it still sounds fresh. Alex’s vocals are just smooth enough to complement the club-tastic track without overpowering the song.
The album continues on a high with Alex’s current single, Let It Go. After Elephant, this is probably the most stand-out tune for its catchiness alone. Unfortunately, this is because the other tracks fail to grab us in the same way.
Alexandra does try to offer us variety. Whilst some of the tracks are pop enough to appear on a Kylie album, others are soulful enough to have been sung by Beyonce. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it gives the album a lull that it never seems to recover from.
There’s no denying that Alexandra’s got powerful pipes, and at times her voice is reminiscent of Whitney Houston herself. So much so that her last track, What Money Can’t Buy, seems to pay homage to Whitney’s If I Don’t Have You.
Alexandra Burke’s second album has some catchy tunes, smooth sounds and great production. However, where this album works best is when it blends the right amount of beats, synths and vocal licks. At times the energy does fall in favour of slower songs like Between The Sheets, but it's with these songs you hear the full force of Alexandra's vocals, without any heavy auto-tuning.
More an album of its time than one that will stand the test of time, Heartbreak on Hold is a record that does exactly what it says on the tin. Unfortunately, it doesn't reach the dizzy highs of Overload, but with its broken hearted theme, it's a perfect record to take on holiday after a breakup.
Heartbreak On Hold is out now