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.
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
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 heights of Overcome, but with its broken hearted theme, it's
a perfect record to take on holiday after a breakup.
Heartbreak On Hold is out now