Almost five years on from her hugely-successful debut album 'Our Version of Events', Emeli Sandé is back with her latest collection, 'Long Live The Angels'. It's a period of time that was likely a very smart move on the part of the singer and her team, with Emeli's music providing the soundtrack to a variety of huge events in the years following her record release. Overexposure can be dangerous, especially with new artists, and so leaving it this long for an album release means that the public is now chomping at the bit for new material.
So, she returns with her gospel-infused new collection. 15 tracks bring the best of Emeli's vocal to the forefront, reminding the general public exactly why she's so revered within the world of music. Emeli is a woman who never allows the production of her songs to swallow her up, instead using it to envelop her talents and help lift her to a higher place. She's at her best however when she strips everything back and lets that silky voice shine. The first example of this comes in track number 3, 'Happen'.
Her voice is raw and emotional, even philosophical at times throughout the LP as she reflects on the journey one takes into love and at times, out of it. Though she starts out being reborn with 'Selah', she's come right back into her own by the time lead single 'Hurts' comes around.
This time round however, she's more passionate than ever before, willing herself to succeed and to not only share her voice with the world, but to share a series of honest, heartfelt messages. Emeli isn't afraid to be an open book, and she's willing her fans to share perhaps their darkest moments with those closest to her as well. This becomes most apparent when she introduces her family in track 12, 'Tenderly'.
Often here we find Emeli begins with a slower tempo before erupting into a triumphant bellow and showcase of her abilities. Of course, there is the chance that some may find this formula a little predictable. It would be nice to see Emeli do something different, but when you're a soul singer with all the goods to succeed, why tamper with what's working?
This collection is one that allows the listener to come back and re-listen to it for the foreseeable future. There are many albums out there that cannot capture this charm, but Emeli should rest assured that even if it takes her another half a decade to create more new material, we've got enough to tide us over.
'Long Live The Angels' is available for purchase, download and streaming now.
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