As with most (if not all) X Factor contestants, Rebecca Ferguson has chosen to base her sound on her idols. In the case of her second album ‘Freedom’, Rebecca aims for a mix of Macy Gray and Adele which sounds illogical but works quite well in some places.
First single ‘I Hope’ was co-written by Aussie Jarrad Rogers, who also co-wrote Guy Sebastian’s faux rock ‘Elevator Love’. Thankfully ‘I Hope’ sounds far more organic, with Rebecca’s raspy vocals taking centre stage.
‘All That I’ve Got’ has got more than a little bit of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ in its attitude and style, but with more soul. ‘My Best’ is lyrically fit to be the theme song to ‘The Biggest Loser’ with triumphant trumpets and ‘don’t lose faith’ lyrics.
Another standout is ‘Fake Smile’ though its chorus sounds a bit too similar to Rebecca’s breakout hit ‘Nothing’s Real But Love’.
She certainly caught a lucky break duetting with John Legend on ‘Bridges’ right as his hit ‘All Of Me’ storms the Aussie charts. Releasing it as a single may reverse Rebecca’s local chart fortune, as ‘Freedom’ is yet to crack the ARIA charts. Plus it’s quite the ballad, almost like a tragic sequel to ‘All of Me’ with pianos, strings and harmonies all hitting the same crescendo at perfect moments.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album consists of a collection of bland mid-tempo ballads. There are literally no up tempo numbers in the second half of the album. We get that she wants to be a ballad diva but when every song has the same tempo it makes for forgettable listening. Still, that sound certainly has its audience, who will surely appreciate ‘Freedom’ for all of its balladry goodness.
Download : I Hope, Bridges