The hype surrounding Aberdeen’s Emeli Sandé over the past months has been steadily building. She has just picked up the Brits Critics Choice award following in the footsteps of Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine and Adele, and it’s pretty clear to see, or hear rather, that she means business. Sometimes though, it’s nice to forget about all the hype, awards and collaborations and just let the music speak, and this album does just that.
With her highly anticipated debut, Our Version Of Events, Sandé effortlessly manages to capture raw emotion not only in her writing but also in her vocal, backed by a balanced mixture of acoustic guitar, piano, strings and beats. Her voice is powerful, strong, and yet fragile enough to convey an impressive array of songs. Opener Heaven was an obvious choice for the first single; at place in the club, ripe for remixing and completely radio-friendly. Likewise, second single Daddy picks up where this left off, with it’s break-beat backing and latest single Next To Me is an upbeat dedication to the strength of love which has a distinctly Motown feel to it.
Conversely however, slower tracks such as Clown, Maybe and Suitcase really cement her in the soul bracket she is also often linked to. Lifetime is some-what philosophical and My Kind Of Love, a self-confessed favourite of Sandé, continue in a similar vein. The song tells a fragile story of yearning and loneliness and the delivery is a powerful one, full of emotion. Mountains is an out and out love song which conveys an ‘us against the world’ attitude.
Our Version Of Events has much more of a relaxed, soulful feel to it than indicated by the single releases, but to be frank her voice could probably carry anything. This album is a beautiful collection of delicately written songs which are ultimately about love – love that is going well, love that is going wrong, love in it’s many forms. All are performed in the most honest sense that anyone who has ever experienced these emotions will relate to, regardless of age, gender, race or location – and isn’t that the beautiful thing about music?