I hate the phrase ‘up and coming’ in relation to any music celebrity. It usually means they’re awful. In this case, British artist Rita Ora really is quite the opposite. She couldn’t get this record out quick enough, and all singles she that has released from it, Hot Right Now, R.I.P. and How We Do (Party) have all shot to number one in the UK charts. Before long, she’ll be taking over America, so I decided to have a listen to the album ahead of your release date to see what I thought.
Facemelt, which is only a minute and a half long, is a very heavy start to an album, boasting about ‘this is the kind of beat, which will make your face melt’. Possibly not, it’s just a lot of bass.
Roc The Life – Another heavy beat with rock influences, but the chorus is unbelievably catchy. You’ll find yourself involuntarily mouthing ‘li-li-li-lili-li-li-li’ along to it even on first listen.
How We Do (Party) – Unnecessarily explicit, I like the message of this song, it’s all about trying to be someone you’re not at a party, possibly, it’s a bit difficult to tell. Almost sounds like a pitched down version of Domino by Jessie J, however, this automatically makes it brilliant.
R.I.P. (feat. Tinie Tempah)– this song features the one and only Tinie Tempah, doing a rather good rap over the song, but using completely inappropriate lyrics if you listen closely. The actual backing on this song is layered so heavily with effects and filters, it sounds wonderful. The strength of her voice and what she is and will be capable of is really shown off in this track.
Radioactive – this almost sounds like a David Guetta song, the synthesisers and effects really make it sound so, especially with the heavy beat this song starts off with. It’s clearly aimed at a club audience judging by the repetition of the phrase ‘palms to the sky’ – the proper British way of saying ‘put your hands up’.
Shine Ya Light – The first weak song on the album, the verses are all quite samey and whilst the chorus is catchy with the ‘whoaaa’ it’s not a stand out track by any means. There are also loads of odd sounds inserted on this track for seemingly no reason.
Love and War feat J Cole – This is unfortunately another weak song, great beat, but I feel as though this song is more about the beat and sounds as opposed to what the actual lyrics and meaning are. J Cole makes no discernible contribution to this song whatsoever; he just goes ‘uh’ and ‘yeah’ in the background before saying a sentence or two towards the end.
Uneasy – This song actually has quite a distinct message, it’s about women who apply makeup with a trowel to hide their own insecurities. Verses are rather pointless and screechy, whilst the first part of the chorus is good, second part is just noise which happens to be made by her, not artist material at all. That isn’t singing, that’s just noise. I have a feeling that with time this song would be a grower.
Fall in Love feat will.i.am – from the first two seconds it is evident that there is a definite Black Eyed Peas style to this track, strong, punchy beats and Will himself putting his autotuned voice on repeat. By the time you get past the strong opening, you will be blown away by the chorus. There are, however, rather annoying scratching sounds on this song near the chorus which will have you checking the headphones to make sure that they’re plugged in correctly. However, you’ll find yourself hitting skip back at the end of this song on the first play.
Been Lying – This song immediately slows the pace and is clearly an attempt by Ora not to make a dance song with a heavy beat. It’s still got the beat, but it feels more at home with this almost power ballad type strength of singing she uses for the song. There is some actual hurt behind the lyrics, you can tell. This will speak particularly to a teenage audience, it’s all about lying and ‘not understanding who I am’. The quivering bags of hormones will love that line.
Hello, Hi, Goodbye – Another slow song with a real message. It’s all about liking someone who will never be with you. This is a quieter song for Ora, and you can tell that she puts no effort into singing it whatsoever; her voice is so powerful normally. Once again she’s put in annoying, random sound effects on this song, but it’s forgivable.
Hot Right Now – This incredible song was produced by DJ Fresh, who is quite a big deal in the UK now. If you’re looking for a fast walking or even running song, look no further. Her strong voice perfectly compliments the loud drum and bass. The video for this on YouTube features some very good dancing. In the UK they play this in clubs and everyone goes mad and starts dancing. Listen for thirty seconds and you’ll understand why.
Crazy Girl – The piano solo in this is so pronounced and has a similar style to Numb by Linkin’ Park, it’s not the same notes, just a similar playing style. This song really isn’t very good if I’m being truthful. The chorus is all right, but then you’ll spend all your time thinking ‘Oh isn’t the piano similar to that Numb song?’.
Young, Single & Sexy – I don’t know if this an attempt to be a little Beyoncé Knowles, but it definitely has that sound to it. I like this though, a positive message about not being in a relationship, we haven’t really seen a song like this since Single Ladies by the Knowles herself.
Meet Ya – The opening to this song reminds me of something else but I just cannot think what. You could listen to this whilst sunbathing. It’s nice, a good end to the album.
Overall, if she can top this quality and exceed for a second album, she will be a huge success within a few weeks of a second album coming out. Her tendency to put random sound effects on tracks when they really do not need it do annoy me however, and they seem to usually be in one ear or the other, which irritates when using headphones.
For a debut album, however, three-quarters of an hour well spent listening to this all the way through. Then pick your favourites, I can guarantee you there will be at least three or four.
So is she up and coming? Can she do better? You bet she can. Just watch this space.