As some of our fave popstars have proved time and time again – 1D, JLS, Olly Murs, Cher Lloyd, etc – you don’t actually have to win X Factor in order to rise to the top of the charts. The latest success to come out of the talent show conveyor belt is Ella Henderson, who went out in week 7 during the ninth series of the show, but managed to completely bowl everyone over with her debut single ‘Ghost’ which is STILL hanging around the Top 20 two months later. Not bad, eh? Clearly gunning for the mantle of pop’s next big diva, the Ms. Henderson is ready to roll out her first album proper, but what’s it like? Well, luckily MP! is on hand to give you the best bits…
So… Is it all just wall to wall ballads then?
Well, yes for the most part. But the good thing is that they’re largely of the epic, tear stained kind, which is universally acknowledged by MP! experts to be the best kind of ballads. Album closer ‘Missed’ is a particular highlight which we can totally imagine crooning along to at 3am after eating too much ice cream and feeling sorry for ourselves. Ahem.
Are there any palms to the sky, mass sing-a-long type ditties on offer?
New single ‘Glow’ is a gorgeous call to arms set to inspire lighter waving for years to come. ‘Empire’ continues in a similar sonic vein, with pounding and simmering synths that build up yet another massive chorus. In fact we defy you not to roar tunelessly along when Ella wails “EMPIIIIIIRE, EMPIIIIIRE”. This could be a single contender…
How about a snarky put down or two? It can’t ALL be serious…
Most of the album is quite Sad Face but the light and breezy kiss off anthem ‘Mirror Man’ is a retro, Motown inspired number about a guy that’s just a little but TOO into himself. We can totes relate to that one. There are some excellent put downs here but our fave is the biting couplet “Mirror Man, no one can love you better than the mirror can”. Ouch.
Any shamelessly poppy jams to listen to when getting ready to go out?
‘Rockets’ is a summer jam with shades of Ariana Grande and easily the poppiest thing on show here. It’s also insanely catchy and instantly feel good, which makes a nice change of pace from all the Serious Face balladry going on for the rest of the album. Shimmying is inevitable so don’t try to resist.
Highlight of the whole album?
‘Ghost’ is still incredible but ‘Pieces’ comes a very close second. It’s a huge, driving pop rock anthem about getting out of a toxic relationship and basically just getting on with your life really. We’re getting mega Kelly Clarkson vibes with this one and we officially nominate it for the next single. ARE YOU LISTENING, ELLA?
Overall this is a solid debut with flashes of Adele levels of greatness, which can only be a good thing. There are plenty of contenders for more singles here too, proving that Ms. Henderson has plenty more hits up her sleeve. Well done, Ella!
MP! Rating – 7/10