Album Review: Alexandra Burke – Overcome

When Alexandra Burke appeared on the X Factor, I didn’t immediately came to realise she was a strong contender. In a way, I’d say she’s too Leona for me during the beginning of the competition until she sang upbeat, dance songs like ‘Toxic’ and ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ – I realised Alex has to become an artist of her own right. She doesn’t need any comparisons at all. Alex has one of those voices that are just recognisable from the moment you hear it. In other words, she’s unique in way that she has her own identity as a singer/artist.

The X Factor winner now finally came to realise her true potential as she showers us with her amazing debut album. It’s an eclectic mix of styles ranging from power ballads to upbeat electro-pop songs that really sets her apart from just a winner of a reality –singing competition. In lieu of a fair commentary about the album, I’ll give a comment on each song with appropriate ratings.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not completely impressed with Alex’s first offering, ‘Bad Boys’. Although I must say the song’s quite catchy, she failed to give a sense of identity as what she would like to be known as a solo artist. The addition of Flo Rida in the song didn’t make the song any better – hence, making it worse. But it’s unfair to give the debut single the credit on how the album will sound. (3/5)

The next track, ‘Goodnight, Good Morning’- a collaboration with Ne-Yo is an R&B stomper. I guess it followed the trend ‘Bad Boys’ started by giving us another upbeat track. To be completely honest, I think this track has the least potential in becoming a hit single although this can be a favourite in the album for some. (2/5)

A not-so-surprising third track is ‘The Silence’. The track is somehow incorporates some elements from Leona’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ in the beginning. The potential of this song is quite high. Alexandra presents an outstanding take on a big ballad that her voice suited it perfectly. It’s a bit sad but the power of the song never failed to make it a bore. Prolly one of the bests in the album (5/5)

After the breathe-taking power ballad comes the upbeat, cutesy ‘All Night Long’. The song gave Alexandra an assurance for being a versatile singer. Another single potential, the track has its much appeal to the mass. If released, it has the qualities of being a dance-club smash hit. (4/5)

The intro to ‘Bury Me (6 feet Under)’ made me happy. The theatrical, jolly sounding beat of the song is really appealing and ear catching. It’s definitely not an album filler although I don’t see it as a potential hit single. Don’t get me wrong, the songs’ good but just not that good. (4/5)

‘Broken Heels’, the album’s sixth track is surprisingly a RedOne collab. Yes, you heard me right, REDONE. It doesn’t sound like most of the tracks RedOne has produced. It’s a sassy, electronic pop concoction that suited Alexandra’s personality in ‘Bad Boys’. The energy of the song is just irresistible. (4/5)

Halfway through the album is the seventh track ‘Dumb’.  I think this one is the album’s lowest point. Although the chorus is okay, it doesn’t move me at all. (2/5)

The title track ‘Overcome’ is undeniably a Ryan Tedder produced borer. The heaviness of the song can be compared to Jordin Sparks’ ‘Battlefield’. To be honest, I’m quite tired with those Tedder sounding productions that just coincidentally sound alike. The song’s lyrics are worth it  but the beat made it boring as hell. (2/5)

‘Gotta Go’ was indeed a bit more boring than ‘Overcome’. It doesn’t have a potential in terms of it being big as some of the songs in the album are. This is probably the lowest point in the album as far as I’m concerned. (1/5)

The Pixie Lott co-written track ‘You Broke My Heart’ sounds very Motown-ish and soulful that it can be a leftover Duffy track. The track’s quite okay but didn’t fit with Alexandra’s style. Same as ‘Bury Me’, it doesn’t prove to be anything worth worshipping for. (3/5)

Almost done with the album but I’m still feeling that I’m just in the middle of listening to it. The electro-pop disco fudge, ‘Nothing But The Girl’ seems to be setting Alexandra to one of those pop divas getting an image with high-heels, flashy cars and glittering outfits. Like ‘Broken Heels’ it’s sassy enough to be a favourite in the album. The attitude just floats everywhere – FIERCE. (4/5)

The twelfth track in the album, ‘They Don’t Know’ is the album’s softest spot. Brilliantly crafted lyrics that don’t fail to be compared to a Leona record. The piano-inflicted anthem is indeed what Alexandra should be singing. It suited her voice perfectly and all. I’m just not sure if this was really meant for her album. (4/5)

Hallelujah! It’s the UK Christmas #1 single of 2008 and it still bores me. The cover is good but I still don’t get why did Simon chose this as the winner’s song. If JLS should’ve won, I won’t like this at all. (3/5)

Last but not the least is the bonus track, ‘It’s Over’. The truth is, it really sounded like a track from Leona Lewis’ ‘Spirit’. Having said that, it’s quite my favourite in the bunch. I just love the way it sounded, very uplifting and sunny-shine outlook. (5/5)

Overall, I think Alexandra did a pretty good job in veering away from Leona’s image. She has her own style and she can sing some good dance songs don’t she? But the sad truth is she failed to erase that she’s a winner of a Reality Singing Competition. Although there’s variations presented, she can do more of her talent.

GRADE: B

RELEASED: October 2009

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