2010-early 2011 were not good promo years for British singer/rapper Estelle: her comeback single "Freak" with Kardinal Official (produced by Red One) tanked in Europe and did not even show up in America. I felt that song was faya! but maybe i was of a certain "few". She then ...collaborated with John legend and nas on "Fall in love" which had no impact as well. Then she collaborated with Rick Ross on "Break my heart" which seamed to get some interest and in my opinion was a good trial but she won me back with her follow up "Thank you" which is such a power hood ballad that seamed to help cause then I heard that she was going ahead to release her 3rd album "All Of Me".
Despite my concerns, listened to the record and was immediately impressed with the style and compositions. she makes music sound so simple yet it always carries deep issues in them. her collaboration with Chris brown and Trey Songs on "International (serious)"is faya! its a mid tempo hip hop banger that if becomes a single, might just get to "American Boy" status. She continues her coolness on songs like "Love the way we used to", "back to love", "Wonderful life" and with these songs, I feel the R&B vibe yeah! but the pop thing is in there somewhere throughout this album (its like she's comfortable in the US but she's never gonna quit England which I think is loyal, intelligent and creatively hard to accomplish so that's a plus for Estelle to accomplish altogether).
The style of the record is definitely Post-Shine and is very much her own (cause I guess with everybody moving into disco and trance, u'd think shed do same but no! She stays true- risky but will be well received). A song that I really love on the album is "do ya thing" with android specialist Janelle Monae. its retro coolness and its theme is basically the overriding theme of the sound of the record. individual uniqueness. Another major theme here is Love (pre-, in- and post-) and I have to say her collaboration with Jerry wonder (of Wyclef fame) is a beautiful arrangement (they collaborated on Shine as well). apart from him, the producers on the record really put out great beats that all make "All of Me" worth the listen again and again!
(Pitfall): is there a true sure fire hit in this record. I get that the songs are all good but mu question is will any one track reach or even surpass "American Boy"? Fingers crossed! (I can't stress promo enough tho) and I was not totally impressed with the interludes. I get that they were added to enhance a better understanding of the record but i felt they were too many and a little vague.
All in all a great record!