Opening with one of the best songs of this year - the Ryan Tedder-co-written 'Ghost' - Ella Henderson has managed to claw her way away from the X Factor label that sticks to so many and broken out as an accomplished artist in her own right.
She was always one of the best singers in that competition, and it was a travesty when she was sent packing in a sing-off against James Arthur. It's something that was absolutely essential however - we'd perhaps have never gotten this material if she'd gone on to win the reality show.
Ella has always been a girl who's known her identity, songwriting from a young age and knowing exactly where it was she wanted to go. Her co-writing is a pattern that runs through every song on the record - her talent in this sense is undeniable.
'Empire' is a rousing and exhiliarating journey whilst the trills we hear in 'Glow' are delicate, raw and packed full of emotion, paving the way for the short but sweet 'Yours' - a tune that utilises the ability to pack a punch without over-production.
Interesting is 'Mirror Man' where Ella sings: "I think you've fallen for you / Someone should tell you the truth / You see perfection in your reflection / And trouble's coming for you / Mirror Man, I wish I could love you / Better than a mirror can" - it's a fantastic little swipe at all of those relationships that have broken down because of self-indulgence by one side of the party.
'Pieces' ups the pace once more and Ella allows her wilder side to come out in a song not quite as compelling as 'Ghost' but still enough to stick around in your psyche going forward.
The Adele comparisons are easy to pick up on in 'All Again', but Ella is absolutely her own artist despite all of that. She sounds like somebody you want to listen to - wise, enchanting and compelling.
Providing a collection of songs and showcasing a maturity that is way beyond her 18 years of age, Ella's got everything going for her and a sensible head on her shoulders. Though a little ballad-heavy at times, this was Ella's perfect opportunity to prove just why she's still around despite staying out of the headlines with ridiculous antics whilst preparing for her debut release. For that she needs to be applauded.
'Chapter One' is out now.
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