West London-born vocalist Estelle’s 2004 debut record, The 18th Day, barely cracked the UK top 40 despite massive hype, but lucky for her, she got a second chance. This time around, John Legend scooped her up for his new label and hooked her up with all the big American names. And sure enough, the Kanye-assisted American Boy is at the top of the UK charts and will soon be huge on these shores as well.
She keeps reminding people of Lauryn Hill, which is kind of a cheap comparison but gives you an idea of where she’s coming from. Shine is tough modern soul music with enough of a foot in the past that it will cross over to people who think they don’t like modern hip-hop.
It’s a fairly light album and doesn’t do anything new musically, but it’s solid; you don’t feel like it needs to be anything else.
Estelle plays at the Mod Club Saturday (April 12).