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Heartbreak on Hold
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Performer Notes
  • Recording information: Cutfather Studios; Sarm Studios, London; Wendy House.
  • Photographer: Dave Byun.
  • Vocalist and 2008 X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke's 2012 sophomore album, Heartbreak on Hold, finds the singer shifting away from the pop/R&B of her debut to a more dance- and club-oriented sound. Working with a bevy of songwriters and producers including Steve Mac, Cutfather, Fred Falke, iSHi, David Gamson, Autumn Rowe, and others, Burke delivers a handful of high-energy electro-house-inflected material that showcases her yearning, passionate vocal style. In fact, as Burke is the daughter of former Soul II Soul singer Melissa Bell, one wonders if Bell had any influence on the album's sound, which successfully evinces a strong '90s house and hi-NRG music sound. There is even a song titled "Oh La La," featuring a four-on-the-floor chant of "La da di da di da" lifted directly from Crystal Waters' 1991 hit "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)." This isn't to say that it sounds dated. On the contrary, these are hot, modern productions which, while deriving inspiration from the early-'90s club sound, never sound anything less than fresh. It also doesn't hurt that Burke has a strong, resonant vocal style perfectly suited to these diva-ready cuts. In that sense, tracks like the pumping "Let It Go" and the swaggering "Fire" have an infectious house music sound that brings to mind the contemporary dance-pop of Lady Gaga as much as classic '90s diva house artists like Robin S. Elsewhere, cuts like "This Love Will Survive," with its sweeping orchestra hits and rousing melody, sounds like a remix of a Coldplay song, and "Love You That Much" is a sparkling, Janet Jackson-meets-Kylie Minogue disco number. ~ Matt Collar
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