Friday 17 February 2012

*Emeil Sande 'Our Version of Events' Review

 Sande has a gripping voice that engages emotionally on many levels. Her songs have powerful timeless melodies with both classical and soul influences and her album sits astride mainstream pop and something more interesting and individual. 

I've followed Emeli Sande since 2006 when I first heard her sing at her ep launch Oran Mor Glasgow and it is  very exciting to see her reap the rewards from all her songwriting work with the successes of her recent debut album which is due to be release in America in June. I met Emeli at her King Tuts gig in 2011 and she has a natural warm smile and was very earnest about her music there.    

Our Version of Events is about her powerhouse soul voice and her distinctive song writing and we hear clearly Sande’s heart on her stronger songs -  the lyrical Daddy, Next To Me, My Kind Of Love, Clown, Maybe, Breaking the Law (which changes the albums feel and has simply guitar and her voice) and on her first single release Heaven which uses the popular energy of the Amen dance drumbeat. Her album sits astride mainstream pop and something more interesting and individual. 

Refreshingly with Emeli here is someone who has made it through hard graft and not through the Guildford School of Music or by being wealthy and privately educated. My hope is that artists are given time to develop in music. We might also wonder why would Sande, a cool, musical and clearly bright singer, wish to be aligned to Simon Cowell?  While I hope the music world is about creativity, it is also about a business. She may have written for Cowell’s X Factor winners but Sande’s music has true grit and heart to it.  

Emeli Sandé is a Scottish R & B and soul artist and songwriter. Before pursuing her musical career, Sandé studied medicine at Glasgow University. Her influences are a cross between the piano songs of Nina Simone's and rock music, and she describes her sound as ‘soul with a rockier edge.’  

I prefer not to 'over analyse' music - I prefer to follow my instinct. I ask myself would I listen to this album, would I travel to hear this artist perform? The answer with Sande’s music is a very firm yes. 

This is a strong debut album mostly receiving good reviews. How many albums are perfect without a few weaker songs, not many that I can name. Emeli has a gripping voice that is both soothing and edgy and engages emotionally on many levels. She plays piano well and breaks her set with several piano slower tempo songs. It seems to me she has paid her dues and delivered a fine album.
Sande at her Old Fruitmarket Glasgow April 2012
Emeli had to change her name as in 2007 as she was known as 'Adele' her first name! There are comparisons here as both have powerful voices. Adele just swept the Grammies 2012 -  then again 21 is Adele's third album.

I first heard Sande at her CD launch gig Oran Mor Glasgow December 2006 when she had picked up attention for her strong distinctive voice at university. She has changed her hair since then also from big and brown to a peroxide quiff, which certainly makes her stand out!  I met her also at her King Tuts gigs in 2010 where she kindly signed Prints. Sande has had hit songs since then with -  Professor Green’s on "Read All About It” (number one UK singles chart), rapper Chipmunk’s, “Diamond Rings” and Wiley’s “Never Be Your Woman”. 
I first heard Sande's album songs at her Oran Mor 2011 and I was impressed with how her songwriting had developed with many catchy hooks and good variety of rhythms.