A combination of good songwriting, and un-originality
Pop has a curious way of repeating itself in 20-year cycles. In 2011, for example, Glaswegian singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé released ‘Heaven’, a song that didn’t so much borrow the template from Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ as lift it wholesale. It did produce a great pop song, though, and this is the crux of Sandé’s debut. Original it is not – there’s little here that couldn’t have come straight off a Shara Nelson album – but she does write some fine tunes, including new single ‘Next To Me’, a rollicking piano stomper currently eating up your radio. She could ease back on sincere acoustic numbers like ‘Breaking The Law’ though (no, not that one), which turn the tail end into a bit of a slog.