Friday, 16 December 2011

Leona Lewis Dazzles At The 2011 Royal Variety Show, And Hits Some Of Her Lowest Notes Ever

With an apparent crisis of confidence in the club sound Leona Lewis courted with last single Collide, Leona and her team have decided to take her back to safer territory with the new EP Hurt while they figure out how to retool the upcoming 2012 album.

Consisting of 3 distinctly sombre, mid-tempo songs- which is odd considering the festive time of year- Leona decided to showcase the title track, and Nine Inch Nails (NIN) cover, at this year's Royal Variety show.

What is immediately clear on listening to the album version of Hurt is how low Leona pushes her voice to mirror the Reznor melody, hitting an unhealthy sounding C3 at 1.23 on the word "end". I was really interested to see if she could accomplish this feat live, considering how forced it sounded on the recording, but always the masterful vocalist Leona managed it, though with noticeably less strength and volume.

Whereas the lower notes sounded uncomfortable the top notes were the total opposite. Its always a joy to hear Leona belting, and this performance was no exception- look out for the effortlessly sustained D5 at 3.19. Bright, well placed and expertly controlled, it lifted the performance brilliantly, showing why Leona Lewis is still one of the best contemporary voices Britain, and the X-Factor, has produced

On a note about the cover itself, though it doesn't have the emotion of the original NIN version, being more of a vocal performance than an emotive one, I actually prefer Leona's more contrived version- lets be honest this has been given the Run treatment. However, it doesn't come anywhere near the standard set by the late Johnny Cash cover. That has got to be one of the most powerful songs period. Listen to both versions below. 

Original Nine Inch Nails Version:

Johnny Cash version:


  1. It's a shame her voice isn't put to the use it could be! She has the pipes to rival Mariah Carey and barely does anything with them.

  2. I love the Johnny Cash version - and the video for it makes me cry. In fact, I loved Johnny Cash period. 
    I like Leona, but I sometimes find her a bit of a one trick pony with her using her wobbliest, breathiest vibrato to convey emotion.
    I'm pleased to announce I can hit that C3, although I'd swap that for her belting ability!! ;o)

  3. Also I kind of wish she had better diction at times, I can't always make out her lyrics....although this is common to most modern singers :O/

  4. Its odd you mention her vibrato because after this performance I really picked up on it. It isn't the "prettiest" of vibratos out there, and in fact it's  become quite distracting now when I listen to her. Also the diction comment is a fair one too! Great ears!

    Also,  less bragging about your range and more showing!! I'm still waiting...:D

  5. the same old Leona Lewis' crap!

  6. She doesn't use it becaouse EVERYBODY knows that when she hits high notes, she sounds badly. She's always out of key. Watch the American music award and you'll now what I'm talking about.

  7. This girl had all the chances in the world but she didn't shine. See, people, Mariah Carey only fails on her Glitter album, after a mount of a big hits. Leona fails on the second album. Sad!

  8. I think she's a singer with a unique tone to her voice, as well as having a unique vocal delivery. True that her vibrato tends to sound exaggerated at times. I recall her singing Summertime on the X Factor, and got sidetracked by her shaking jaw-induced vibrato. I believe it was a mistake for the X Factor to label her as the next Mariah/Whitney. I would say her singing style is closer to Minnie Riperton. Her vocal styling as well as tone are miles apart from the Divas. 
    I don't think that she failed. I remember Mariah having under performing albums lately as well.   I agree with you DD, she's probably one of the best contemporary voices in Britain right now. Her versatility is amazing.

  9.  well in-truth leona lewis still sounds alot better
    then some of these so called singers these days
    and while leona is not on mariah or even the late
    whitney houston level,she is kinda close but not
    close enough to be label as the next mc/whitney.

  10. Mariah has failed several times after Glitter. Does this make her an actual Failure? No. Leona's career has just begun. She'll have her time.

  11. yea leona lewis will have her time but she or her
    music team,etc,needs to find her a sound,image,
    etc,and keep her in it instead of jumping from one
    sound/image,etc,to another sound/image,etc,as thats
    how you can truly "fail" as an example mariah sound
    /image has changed but the big "change" was years
    ago and every since then it has for the most part stayed
    the same as that among other things has allowed her to
    have success for the most part,while ciara who can't really
    sing if her life depend on it but however she can dance and
    get people energy going but she went into a major fail when
    she changed up her sound/image which was a big cry from
    her goodies day,anyway unless they found leona lewis a
    perfect sound/image,etc,she will never get the real big shine
    she truly deserve and its sad because she has a nice but
    powerful spine chilling voice and the looks to rival most of
    these so called singers but leona is classy and sweet !

  12. She is similar to those two in a way however the combination of the Mariah sounding light, and bright belts and the Whitney jaw induced vibrato.