Estelle - Shine

Album Review by Omar Jenning | 23 Apr 2008
Album title: Shine
Artist: Estelle
Label: Atlantic/Homeschoo
Release date: Out Now

Versatile is the only word to describe Shine, the new album from Estelle Swaray. Having kicked in the door in 2004 with the track 1980, the singer/rapper is back with a new label and phenomenal album. With a signature tone and texture to her vocals, Estelle seems to sit well in the pockets of the varied sounds present on Shine, bringing a radiance to the album, along with a deep breath of fresh air. Clearly drawing on her love and appreciation of dancehall, she covers an old reggae classic, Substitute Lover, complete with stabbing guitar riff, a perfect George Michael sample, silky vocals and a fierce verse. With over a four week stop at the top of the charts (at time of going to press) with American Boy, it's hard to not like this tune, although the dumbed down rap from KanYe is a bit of a disappointment. Credit goes to Estelle for her diverse ability however, and with three covers on the go, there is a notable and obvious comparison that could be drawn with Lauryn Hill; both cover the same Bob Marley track, So Much Things To Say, and Estelle's version also samples Lauryn's So Much Out The Way cover. So Much Out The Way is produced by familiar face Wyclef, so it stands to reason that this version will stand the test of time. [Omar Jenning]