'I Am'

Courtesy of Island and Def Jam

British song bird Leona Lewis is best known for her powerhouse vocals, drawing critics to compare her to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston during the international success of her debut single “Bleeding Love” in 2008.

Lewis’ latest album, “I Am,” is the singers’ desire to bring her vocals back to the forefront.

“Thunder” serves as the album’s opening track, with dramatic base lines reminiscent to Kelly Clarkson’s “Already Gone” or Katy Perry’s “Roar.” Lewis sings of personal triumph over a toxic relationship. The track seems like a song better suited for 2012 pop radio rather than the innovative tune that could place the singer into top 10 territory.

Lewis reminds listeners of her vocal talents, which is the same voice that earned her the title of one of the best selling “The X Factor” winners in piano assisted ballad “Thank You.” The song starts with Lewis crooning a cappella, and then picks up with the singer breaking into her signature belts.

A mix of calming synths and militant bass, “Power” is a track about recollection of a love gone sour with Lewis’ backing vocals echoing angelically. Reminiscent of “Bleeding Love,” this song may have trouble mirroring the former track’s commercial success.

The album’s title track, “I Am,” stays true to the album’s tone and speaks of a distressed relationship. As Lewis sings, “I won’t change for you,” heavy drums synonymous with Avril Lavigne’s sound take up the main tune, while a piano timidly chimes in every now and then. While it’s not a stand out track, this song makes for a good listen.

“I Got You” is a dance track but is still true to Lewis’ style. A gradual rise in tempo allows listeners to keep the pace with this guitar-assisted tune. Sonically similar to Jordin Sparks’ “Tattoo,” it seems more like a space filler rather than a stand out song. It also stays true to the album’s repetitive them of breaking up.

An original artist by contemporary terms, “I Am” places Lewis in the frame of other pop divas.

She mimics the rock and pop vibe of many of her competitors throughout the entire record. But listening to this album may seem unvarying at times, and it lacks the substance to place Lewis back on tier with today’s Billboard Hot 100 pop queens.

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