Ella Henderson’s debut album ‘Chapter One’ is a bit of a surprise package. If you were hoping for more of the Kelly Clarkson angst we got on ‘Ghost’, prepare to be disappointed.
It seems that it was more indicative of its producer Ryan Tedder than it was of Ella. Otherwise, Ella seems to be content warbling near the piano.
Most of the slower songs seem a bit bland, with the possible exception of ‘Give Your Heart Away’, which at least has an anthemic chorus.
Elsewhere ‘Mirror Man’ is a soulful mid-tempo that sounds straight from the 1960s whilst ‘The First Time’ combines bubblegum pop lyrics with Amy Winehouse-esque blue-eyed soul.
‘Pieces’ is a little bit more modern, and sounds like it could’ve come from the Sydney DNA boys.
Second single ‘Glow’ reminds us of a generic ‘X Factor’ winner’s single; we think the bouncy ‘Rockets’ would’ve been a better choice in terms of developing Ella’s sound.
Ultimately there’s nothing too troublesome on ‘Chapter One’, though it’s a real shame that some of the best songs are relegated to the deluxe edition.
‘Billie Holiday’ has a great gospel-meets-Corinne Bailey Rae vibe to it, whilst ‘1996’ is a beautiful earnest mid-tempo dedicated to Ella’s family.
Ironically the best of all the ballads is ‘Beautifully Unfinished’, which is criminally hidden all the way down at track 15.
With the deluxe edition bringing proceedings to a lengthy 18 tracks, perhaps ‘Chapter One’ should’ve gone through more editing to have ended up a more succinct record.
Perhaps for ‘Chapter Two’ she should spend less time at the piano and more time with Ryan Tedder!
Download : Ghosts, Rockets, Beautifully Unfinished.