Emeli Sandé has one of the most underrated voices in music full stop. Her vocal flexibility, the emotion and raw talent that she surprises us with time after time, never seems to get the spotlight it deserves. Although she has had huge chart success, she has been quite quiet for nearly two years now and today was the first time I had heard her name in a long time. Tracks like ‘Heaven’ and ‘Next to Me’ were some of the best tracks put out in 2012 and I think it’s unfortunate that her career isn’t highlighted as much as it should be. Anyways off of all that stuff and let’s get down to this track immediately.
The song is a bit of a mixed bag for me really. It has that same emotional resonance and intensity that I expected from an Emeli Sandé track, but it just lacked anything truly memorable to make it worth listening to again. Starting with the instrumentation… The beat irritated me a little because the over-use of this clapping rhythm became repetitive quite fast. The ambient style sub bass was wholesome and huge but often swamped the mix a little sounding a bit over-the-top in parts. The strings however were great and they added this big band feel to the song that felt luscious and hugely scaled. It made the choruses stand out and allowed for real power in some sections. The mixing of the strings were really good too. allowing for each layer from the textured section to be really pronounced and vibrant. Vocally the song had some parts that were strong and ferocious, but others that sounded a little unnatural and forced. Some notes felt like they could of done with stripping back; the song felt way too intense the whole time instead of just allowing for some delicacy so that you could tell the development of the track. Before I continue I’ll say that the vocals were also very well mixed; the producer was on his/her A-game for this one! The lyrics were very well written showcasing a real sincerity to what was being sang and allowed for Sandé’s experiences to be summarised into this one, bitter song. The hook of the track was a little forgettable but then I think that’s more based upon the melody itself rather than Emeli’s voice.