Rita Ora ‘Phoenix’ Review

After 6 long years since the release of Ora’s debut she’s back stronger than ever, refreshed after as she’s rose like a ‘Phoenix’ from the ashes.

Following, at one point what felt like a never ending occurrence of pushback, label difficulties and whatever else stood in her way; Rita Ora made sure to never be defeated as she inspiringly kept herself busy and in the spotlight exploring her other talents.

Ora has done more than enough to prove she can do it all; from topping the charts, acting, modelling, hosting, judging and designing she’s established herself as a true 360 entertainer, however, she’s reinstated her relevance in the music industry with the release of her sophomore album ‘Phoenix’.

The album, released on November 23, boats a respectable 16 tracks including hit singles ‘Your song’, ‘Anywhere’ and her hugely successful Fifty Shades of Grey collaboration with Liam Payne ‘For You’.

There’s no denying that Rita has the vocals, the look and the ability to churn out hit after hit and Phoenix charmingly showcases her talent making for a strong return to music.

Opening with one of her, and notably one of 2017’s, standout singles ‘Anywhere’ the introduction offers an upbeat pop-electro hazy dance moment which still sounds so fresh before entering her current single ‘Let You Love Me’. Let you love me, an interesting outpour of about letting your guard down in order to let someone in intertwined into a catchy light EDM edged pop knife.

‘New look’ kicks off the string of new material with an assertive sassy manner. Rita excels in the enticingly pulsating catchiness of the chorus which leaves you wanting to hit the replay button; whilst ‘First Time High’ presents vibrant strings in an effervescent dance pop bubble gum pop number.

Despite the new offerings previously released hits, such as female anthem girls ‘Girls’, ‘Your Song’ and Avicii collaboration ‘Lonely Together’ aren’t forgotten as they receive a new lease of life. Not to mention her Fifty Shades of Grey collaboration with Liam Payne ‘For You’ which led Ora to adopt a cinematic drama into ‘Hell of a life’ whilst heading back to familiar territory with the euphoric, summer penetrated, drum and bass smash ‘Summer Love’.

Although there’s an up tempo, feel good energy infused throughout the album, ‘Phoenix’, intertwines subdued moments with the muted pop ballad ‘Only Want You’ as she opens up about the need for one particular person. Another impressive difference on the album is the sultry ‘Cashmere’ which possess an R and B imbue for the ultimate ‘in your feels’ promiscuous playlist.

Amongst the quintessential pop album, Ora also offers an experimental side in her new material. With the jazzy, feel good rapturous ‘Velvet Rope’ in which she curates an effervescent trumpet laced ballad; along with jubilant, groovy number Julia Michaels assisted ‘Keep Talking’ ‘as they take the high road’ serving all the dreamy high notes against a contrasting bold electronic backing Rita proves she won’t shy away when it comes to exploring.

Finishing the album is ‘Soul Survivor’ in which fans get to see an explicitly honest insight into her truth and the personal struggle of the past few years as she reflects on her turbulent journey to the release of her second album. The powerful track hones in on her vocal aptitude as she bares all behind a beautifully simplistic, graceful piano instrumental unequivocally becoming one of the strongest highlights of her album.

Overall ‘Phoenix’ is cohesive, interesting and diverse curating an impressive follow up to ‘Ora’ where she dives into deep end of the music industry managing to keep her career afloat as she ensures the wait was worthwhile making up for the six-year music drought.

9/10

Let me know what you think of the album over on Twitter and send me over any suggestions of other albums to review.

New Music Friday 2

This week has been a pretty busy week and somehow its already Friday, which as well all know means new music.

This month has been filled with some pretty impressive releases and some stand out projects and today is no different…..

Today is exciting, as the long awaited (to be exact 6 long years) and highly anticipated sophomore album from Rita Ora has finally been released. The pop songstress has released a string of chart toppers in the run up to her release and today is the day to hear the full project. As the biggest album this week of course album tracks can be found at the top of every new music playlist and rightfully so!

‘Only Want You’, features on all the playlists and the laid back R and B infused slow jam offers a subdued moment. With dreamy vocals layered on top of a punchy chorus she continues to impress with yet another banger as she pours out her heart about the desire to experience of one specific individual. Credit where credit is due as Ora has continued to deliver and impress and honestly let’s be honest which other stars could’ve taken 6 years out of music and come back with a bang?

Billie Eilish released a bundle of perfection with her new song ‘Come out and play’. The melancholic emotion fuelled song is powerfully intimate before adopting a cinematic punch as the song progresses. An impressive follow up from her recently released ‘Don’t Smile at Me’ as she sticks to her mysterious roots however still offers a fresh sound.

Next up Kamille dropped her remix of ‘Emotion’ as she calls in Chip and Stefflon Don. The track feels like a Stefflon Don throw away, the start of the track is overwhelming and slightly messy however the chorus kind of salvages the verse. Chip’s verse isn’t anything special and neither gives or takes away from the track but honestly Steff disappoints on this track.

Another feature from Rita Ora, as she lends her vocals to Rudimental’s new single ‘Summer Love’ from their upcoming album ‘Toast To Our Differences’. The track is an ode to the so distant summer fun contextualising that fairy-tale idea of a summer love which all you ever want and more- but only for those summer months. Taking Ora back to her Drum and Bass roots, which originally propelled her to the top of the charts, the track offers an easy listen, with a catchy feel good chorus and subtle drop for an overall nice offering.

A standout track this week comes from pop rising star, Call Me Loop. Her new song ‘Business’ has quite the fitting title as she means business and takes control in this defiant new single. With an interesting sound, elevating vocals and a catchy beat the ex-obsessed track ditches an old love as she battles to look towards the future and move on. The emotive pop piece infuses a groovy guitar heavy instrumental with an assertive and attention grabbing energy.

Lastly British popstar, Jess Gylnne has decided to release an acoustic rendition of her already quite acoustic ‘Thursday’. The stripped back vocals delight on the empowering, self-love track, however, I can’t help but think despite my appreciation for this version and the original track this release was pretty pointless and doesn’t add anything to the song even if it is a pleasant listen.

That’s it for this week, there wasn’t much that excited me this week but there were obviously some stand outs which will I’ll definitely be adding to my playlist and having on repeat.

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think of this week’s tracks and if there are any songs you know are being released or want me to feature let me know!!!