Spirit

( 35 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Clive Davis's latest protégée, Leona Lewis, has already made a splash across the pond. Now the 22-year-old winner of Simon Cowell's British talent show, The X Factor, is poised to become an American idol with the Stateside release of Spirit, which topped the charts in the U.K.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The truest test of Simon Cowell's power within the music industry circa 2008 was not whether American Idol could produce a star in its seventh season or if its U.K. cousin, The X Factor, would have another success in its fifth season -- it was whether he could turn Leona Lewis into the international superstar he so clearly believed ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Clive Davis's latest protégée, Leona Lewis, has already made a splash across the pond. Now the 22-year-old winner of Simon Cowell's British talent show, The X Factor, is poised to become an American idol with the Stateside release of Spirit, which topped the charts in the U.K.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The truest test of Simon Cowell's power within the music industry circa 2008 was not whether American Idol could produce a star in its seventh season or if its U.K. cousin, The X Factor, would have another success in its fifth season -- it was whether he could turn Leona Lewis into the international superstar he so clearly believed she is. Lewis was the third winner of The X Factor -- the Cowell-driven replacement to Pop Idol in Britain, a replacement that came to be because he wanted to own a significant piece of the show -- and one of the key differences between Factor and Idol is that the judges can mentor the contestants and therefore have a stake in the outcome of the show, more than they do on Idol, where the judges merely comment. Rightly impressed by Lewis' multi-octave voice -- reminiscent of a warmer, earthbound Mariah Carey -- Cowell continued his mentorship after the conclusion of the show, making her the first contestant in the whole Idol/Factor enterprise that he personally shepherded through the major-label process. He struck a deal with Clive Davis -- the executive producer behind all the American Idol projects, the producer who publicly bristled when Kelly Clarkson tried to take control of her career through her original compositions -- and the two launched a grand plan to break Lewis in her native U.K. first, then slowly roll her out in the U.S. a few months later, via an appearance on Oprah and a slightly re-sequenced and remixed version of her debut, Spirit. That U.S. version drops the bonus track of Leona's version of "A Moment Like This," her first hit single that is not so coincidentally a cover of Kelly's first big single. If Kelly became a thorn in Davis' side, Leona Lewis seems happy, even eager, to play the major-label game, singing anything that comes her way, never lodging a complaint when she has to cut a couple R&B-flavored tracks to appeal to the American market. These tunes -- "Misses Glass" and "Forgive Me" -- are just slightly glitzier than the rest of Spirit, surely bearing heavier rhythms but not to the extent that the beats obscure Lewis' voice, as the whole point of Spirit is to showcase her singing, particularly those high glory notes that are all the rage on Idol/Factor. Unlike most Idol/Factor alumni, Lewis can hit those big notes but make it seem easy, never straining her voice and building nicely to the climax. Unlike most divas, there is a human quality to her voice, as she's singing to the song, not singing to her voice. Then again, this was also true of Mariah Carey on her 1990 debut, which Spirit greatly resembles in how the handful of R&B-oriented songs camouflages how this is almost entirely a stuffy middle-of-the-road pop record. Not only that, but Spirit is so old-fashioned it sounds as if it could have been released in 1990 and compete with Carey's debut for the top of the charts; her first single, "Bleeding Love," opens with a crawling organ that recalls the muted gospel of "Vision of Love," even if the skin-crawling lyric "you cut me open and I keep bleeding love" wouldn't have suited the Top 40 in 1990. That stultifying adult contemporary atmosphere may makes Spirit stilted, but it's also as savvy a move as you could expect from Cowell: ever since Mariah long ago abandoned AC for the clubs, there has been a gaping need for a vocalist like Leona Lewis, a singer who can belt it out but is safe and tame, having no interest in the perks of stardom that exist beyond the stage. And boy is Leona Lewis ever that -- she is blessed with a terrific voice but very little on-record personality, something the very professional, very inoffensive tunes emphasize. Thanks to this collection of calculatingly commercial tracks -- tunes crafted to appeal to everyone yet no one in particular -- Lewis merely comes across as the most talented and most willing singer to ever play Cowell's game, so no wonder he loves her. But this also points out the big difference between how Cowell has taken Leona Lewis under her wing and how Tommy Mottola watched over Mariah. Mottola married Carey, having both an emotional and financial stake in her career, but those mixed emotions helped obscure the machinery that drove her career. Cowell is only in it for the cash with Lewis, so the machinations are too apparent on this otherwise appealing debut. And that's too bad, because Spirit surely reveals a singer who has a richer tonal quality than any diva to come along in the past 15 years or so -- if she had gotten the tunes to match her voice, this would have been a killer record in addition to the international blockbuster that it was so carefully crafted to be.
New York Times - Nate Chinen
“Spirit” is designed with one chief purpose: to showcase a titanium-caliber voice. And in that sense it works well....It seems poised for something other than failure here.

“Spirit” is designed with one chief purpose: to showcase a titanium-caliber voice. And in that sense it works well....It seems poised for something other than failure here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2008
  • Label: J-Records
  • UPC: 886970255424
  • Catalog Number: 702554
  • Sales rank: 3,032

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Bleeding Love (4:23)
  2. 2 Better in Time (3:55)
  3. 3 I Will Be (4:00)
  4. 4 I'm You (3:48)
  5. 5 Forgive Me (3:41)
  6. 6 Misses Glass (3:41)
  7. 7 Angel (4:15)
  8. 8 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (4:27)
  9. 9 Yesterday (3:55)
  10. 10 Whatever It Takes (3:27)
  11. 11 Take a Bow (3:54)
  12. 12 Footprints in the Sand (4:09)
  13. 13 Here I Am (4:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leona Lewis Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Ian Thomas Drums
Robin Clark Choir, Chorus
Vaneese Thomas Choir, Chorus
Tawatha Agee Choir, Chorus
Louis Biancaniello Keyboards
Michelle Cobbs Choir, Chorus
Jack Daley Bass
Benny Diggs Choir, Chorus
Tammy Lucas Choir, Chorus
Cindy Mizelle Choir, Chorus
Steve Pearce Bass
Fonzi Thornton Choir, Chorus
Dave Arch Organ, Piano
Walter Afanasieff Keyboards
Tony Reyes Guitar
John Parricelli Guitar
Billy Porter Choir, Chorus
Max Martin Piano
Espen Lind Guitar
Steve Mac Synthesizer, Keyboards
Vanessa Thomas Choir, Chorus
Amy Chang Violin
Wayne Wilkins Keyboards
Tavia Ivey Background Vocals
Josh Alexander Guitar, Keyboards
Chris Laws Drums
Daniel Laufer Cello, Celli
Phillip Lowman Drums
Steven Wolf Percussion, Drums
Stephen Ferrera Drums
Alonzo "Novel" Stevenson Keyboards
Ravaughn Brown Background Vocals
Karen Freer Cello, Celli
William Pu Violin
Olga Shpitko Violin
Technical Credits
Ewan MacColl Composer
The Runaways Composer
Dallas Austin Producer
Louis Biancaniello Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Clive Davis Producer
Chris Garcia Engineer, Digital Editing
Eric Hudson Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
Andrea Martin Composer
Doug McKean Engineer
Richard Page Composer
Leon Pendarvis String Arrangements, String Conductor
Robert Smith Engineer
Billy Steinberg Producer
Ren Swan Engineer
Terry Thomas Composer
Geoff Foster String Arrangements
Dave Arch String Arrangements
Brett James Composer
David Krueger Composer
Walter Afanasieff Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer
Sam Watters Composer, Producer, Engineer, Vocal Producer
Scott Roewe Digital Editing
Tony Reyes Composer
Carlton Lynn Engineer
David Channing Engineer
Max Martin Composer
Steve Mac Arranger, Producer
Chris Brooke Vocal Engineer
Per Magnusson Composer
Eddie Horst String Arrangements
Simon Cowell Composer, Producer
Emily Wright Engineer
Wayne Wilkins Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Janne Hansson Engineer
Josh Alexander Programming, Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
Chris Laws Engineer, Digital Editing
Daniel Pursey Engineer
Craig Durrance Engineer
Vlado Meller Mastering
Josh Wilbur Engineer
Jesse McCartney Composer
Nina Woodford Composer
Steven Wolf Producer
Rouble Kapoor Engineer
Seth Waldmann Engineer
Ryan Tedder Composer
Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald Composer
Shaffer Smith Composer
Aliaune "Akon" Thiam Composer, Producer
Keith Gretlein Engineer
J.R. Rotem Arranger, Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
Alonzo "Novel" Stevenson Composer, Programming, Producer
Matt Beckley Producer
Ne-Yo Producer
Tom Syrowski Engineer
Greg Ogan Engineer
Chris Soper Engineer
Claude Kelly Composer
Mark "Exit" Goodchild Engineer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen Composer, Engineer, Instrumentation
Wesley Seidman Engineer
Giorgio Tuinfort Composer, Producer
Tyler Gordon Programming, Digital Editing
Tatiana Gottwald Engineer
Leona Lewis Composer
Tim Blacksmith Management
Harry Magee Management
Jordan Omley Composer
Tor Erik Hermansen Composer
Theron Thomas Composer
Michael Mani Composer
Chris Holmes Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best Female Voice of the 2010s

    Now that Mariah and Whitney have moved aside, Leona is ready to dominate. Though they were doing a similar type of music a decade earlier (when ballads were mainstream) Leona is still able to conquer the globe. Her voice is so rare and powerful...and Spirit is a great album, containing some of the best songs ever! This is definitely one of the best albums of the decade! And if you love SPIRIT, don't forget to PURCHASE it's AMAZING follow up, with more tracks written by LEONA herself, ECHO!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Absolutely Amazing !

    I purchased this cd for my 14 year old daughter. I just happened to start listening to it one day and I am completely floored by the performance of Leona.<BR/>'Footprints in the Sand' is my favorite and so moving. This whole album is wonderful and I wish Leona many years of success. You won't be sorry if you buy this album. One of the best albums of the new artists out today !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply the World's Greatest

    Leona Lewis, to quote Oprah, is &amp quot the real deal&amp quot , and this album definitely proves that. Not only are the tracks versatile: from the sultry beats of &amp quot I Will Be&amp quot and &amp quot I'm You&amp quot to the more upbeat and playful &amp quot The Best You Never Had&amp quot and &amp quot Whatever It Takes&amp quot , this album has it all. There isn't a single song I wouldn't highly recommend. Of course, the UK version of &amp quot Spirit&amp quot is slightly more consistent &quot it seems that the three American additions: &amp quot Misses Glass&amp quot , &amp quot Forgive Me&amp quot , and &amp quot You Bring Me Down&amp quot have a slightly different tone&quot , but the US version is a must buy. If, for some absurd reason, you do not wish to purchase the entire album, I've included a list of her top songs: 1. Bleeding Love 2. Better In Time 3. Whatever It Takes 4. Footprints in the Sand 5. I Will Be 6. You Bring Me Down 7. Forgive Me 8. Yesterday 9. Misses Glass 10. Here I Am 11. Angel 12. Take a Bow 13. The Best You Never Had 14. I'm You 15. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Voice of Our Time... Possibly Ever?

    Leona Lewis has been praised by actual executives and producers in the music industry as the best vocalist of our time, and perhaps one of the top vocalists EVER. For her &quot Better In Time&quot music video for instance, (which, by the way, is only her 3rd single - 2nd from &quot Spirit&quot ) the director, Sophie Muller, actually REQUESTED to work with Leona. Quoting Wikipedia, &quot When No Doubt's &quot Don't Speak&quot won the award for Best Group Video at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards Stefani thanked [Sophie Muller] extensively, saying, &quot I'd like to say that Sophie Muller is a genius.&quot Stefani has also stated, &quot Sophie Muller is one of my most talented friends. She can and will only do projects that she is inspired by.&quot Not only does the fact that an acclaimed director such as Muller requested to work with Lewis display the singer's fortitude, but her talents are also evidenced by the sheer number of records she's already broken in her young career. She's only 23, and since her April 2008 release of her first album, her sales have not only gone platinum but she's also set records as the first British female vocalist to not only debut at number one on the Billboard Charts, but also to remain there for an astounding number of weeks. When Leona Lewis sings live, it sounds just as good - if not better - than her recordings. She's been compared to the likes of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, only a) she's not a coke-addict, and b) she's not a diva. In fact, she's donated much of her newfound wealth and fame to charity. (See her song &quot Footprints in the Sand&quot which was recorded for the NFP &quot Sport Relief&quot ). I could go on for hours, but honestly if you truly listen to her songs, you'll realize that, yes, she doea annunciate her words (only she opens her vowels - as proper form dictates - she was classically trained after all). Truly, Leona Lewis IS the most talented vocalist of our time and I'm honored to have had the fortune to have heard her voice. I believe her to be the best vocalist ever, though I've only been around since 1988... :]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best CDs I own

    I heard Leona sing as a guest on American Idol and immediately wanted her CD. her voice is amazing. I love all of her songs, they're new and really cool! I think most people will really enjoy this CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    wow..

    wow is all i can say..after hearing "bleeding love" i was excited to get this album and im not at all disappointed. she has an amazing voice, she makes it seem so easy to hit those high notes. take a bow by far is one of the best tracks on the album. it should be released asap if she wants another #1 worldwide.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Leona Lewis's cd has admittingley catchy song, but this girl cannot sing. I am no singing expert but i did sing in a choir. We were taught to pronounce our words and Leona does not pronounce alot of her words it can get quite annoying and it can get hard to understand. if you like pitchy and indecipherable lyrics... this is totally for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fabulous debut from Leona!!!!!

    Leona Lewis'album Spirit, still gives me chills every time I hear it! She's got such a powerful voice. My favorite song on here is I'm You because the smooth groove, atmospheric sound landscapes and sitar playing match perfectly with her voice. She smartly balanced this album very well where the uptempo songs weave well to the ballads afterwards. Only tracks 11 to 13 wear thin, but they follow a very dynamic set of songs before then. Bleeding Love, Forgive Me, I Will Be, The First Time, Misses Glass, Better In Time and Angel are my other favorites. The first half, her voice reminds me of Mariah Carey, but all of that ends after track 6 or 7 and you hear Leona more. Given that Carey's album came out a week later, you can just witness the comparisons of their voices as listeners play their respectable CDs back and forth on their stereos. But Lewis has such a commanding voice and she feels the music and melodies as she sings them. Producers like Ryan Tedder, Eric Hudson, Ne-Yo, Akon, Madd Scientist, Stargate,J.R. Rotem, Jordan Omley, Michael Mani, The Runaways, Dallas Austin and others provided Lewis with wonderful pop songs. She is going to be a worldwide success for a long time to come!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Album Ever!

    Leona Lewis has a beautiful voice, there is nothing out there like hers! She is my altime favorite singer!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    simply amazing

    I was a bit hesitant about purchasing her CD. Although I liked the single Bleeding Love, I wasn't sure whether to get the CD or not. But I'm not disappointed at all, her voice is amazing, and the music is great. Her rendition of The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, is just splendid, it reminded me of Celine Dion. But the CD's highlight is the song Take a Bow, a simply amazing break-up song. Also recommend, Forgive Me, Better in Time and Whatever it Takes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing!!!!!

    Leona Lewis has an amazing vocal, not only that but the music behind that is awesome! Many well known artists and writers helped with this album (Avril Lavigne, Shaffer Smith (Ne-Yo), Jesse McCartney, and the lead singer of OneRepublic). The lead singer of OneRepublic and Jesse McCartney wrote the single Bleeding Love, and it was to be used on McCartney's upcoming album, but was given to Lewis instead, which obviously was for the better. Also, Shaffer Smith, a.k.a. Ne-Yo wrote the track I'm You, and Avril Lavigne wrote the track I Will Be, which sounds much better with Lewis' vocal than Lavigne's. Also the track Take A Bow is outstanding, and without a doubt the best on the album. I'm hoping it to be the next single!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mariah Watch Out

    She will be the next Mariah Carey. Her compositions are nearly the same, her sound is reminiscent of Mariah's style, she can hit those notes that are on the edge of space. Leona is very talented and this album proves that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing!

    Her voice is simply amazing! If you say otherwise, you don't know the first thing about music! You will NOT be disappointed!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You will not be disappointed if you are a Mariah Carey fan

    Leona's voice has a similar octave and range as Mariah's, so you will not be disappointed if you are a Mariah fan. Unlike Mariah Leona does not have that DIVA attitude, she is more humble about the gift God gave her and I hope she doesn't lose that humbleness as she becomes more successful. I hope they also give her some freedom in writing her own songs because they did not do her a favor by making her sing songs that sounded too much like Mariah's past songs. I look forward to Leona's next CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    She's No Kelly Clarkston

    If you like to be spoonfed a bunch of hype, this cd is for you. The only soul this woman has is what technology creates for her in the studio. The songwriting is also very underwhelming - Norah Jones could have written these in her sleep. This is about as exciting as a glass of milk, but I'm sure the record label will pay alot to make sure this makes #1. Maybe Leona should listen a little more to Avril Lavigne!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best New Artist of 2008

    This is one of the best albums I've ever heard. I have the UK Version and it blew me away.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simply Amazing...Lookout Mariah

    I am so glad her CD is soon to be released her in the US, I have been listening to her music on Myspace and YouTube almost on a regular.... she is gonna knock the world on its back ...Go on girl!!!

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    Posted February 22, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2009

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    Posted January 8, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews