Estelle - Shine

2008-05-22 11:08
Its urban blend of hip hop, R&B, neo-soul and the occasional reggae makes Shine an extremely easy listen. Compared to the R&B crap being released these days, you'll be forgiven for assuming only three or four tracks are worth listening to – i.e. the singles currently on radio stations' playlists like "Wait a Minute" and the Kanye collab "American Boy". But Estelle has created 12 unskippable singles you want to learn the words to so you can sing along.

What makes Shine even more enjoyable is that it's practically one giant music appreciation pop quiz, with six of the 12 tracks containing samples from classics of the 70s and 80s, including Slave's "Just a Touch of Love", Edward Starr's "Easin In", "I Put a Spell On You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and work by recording artists like George Michael, Paul Simon, KRS One, Barry White and the Love unlimited Orchestra and Dave and Ansell Collins.

British female vocalists like Amy Winehouse, Adele and Duffy are staking their claim in the global music business and Estelle shines as one of the forerunners.

- Megan Kakora

Shine's the kind of album that will propel Estelle out of West London obscurity and into mainstream celebritydom. By collaborating with US industry heavyweights such as Kanye West, John Legend,, Wyclef Jean and Swizz Beatz she's already on her way.

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