It was announced this week that international superstar Leona Lewis‘ long-awaited third album Glassheart will be delayed a further six months, and is now due to be released on November 26th 2012. The album had already been pushed back from a summer 2011 release date and was expected to drop in March this year. Clearly this kind of drastic rescheduling suggests that Leona’s record label aren’t confident enough in the project as it stands to put it out, and hope to go back to the drawing board to at least reshape the album, if not start from scratch entirely.
At the risk of sounding like an insane borderline-obsessed broken record (“Leave Britney Alone!”), my feelings about Sony’s handling of Leona’s career are well-documented. Obviously the rumours that she’s on the verge of being dropped are nonsense – especially given how vocal Sony chief creative officer Clive Davis has reportedly been about personally taking the revamping of the album on as one of his major projects for the year. Rumour has it that Leona took the lead creatively when recording the album in its original form, working with the likes of Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy, Fraser T Smith, Al Shux, Dallas Austin and Ne-Yo to name a few – Davis would seemingly have her hit the studio with Ryan Tedder, Will.I.Am. and Polow Da Don to craft some “hits”.
Far be it for me to question the decisions of the great Clive Davis. Instead, I’d just like to make a few suggestions. I’ll start by justing quote something I wrote back in July 2011, when Leona released the hot mess that was her lead single “Collide”:
This really isn’t working and you’re hurting us all with this “Collide” nonsense. Leona’s been at a crossroads for the last couple of years, and the sensible thing to do would’ve have been to bring her back to the UK and put her in the studio with Labrinth for a lead single. It’s great that you’ve realised Ryan Tedder isn’t the only songwriter in the world and I’m glad you hollered at Emeli Sande for the album, because she’s amazing.
An upbeat, credible Labrinth-produced lead single with a guest verse from a chart-friendly UK rapper of your choosing (I’d have gone with Wretch or Tinie whilst secretly wanting to go with Dot Rotten) in the video and on the remix – that would’ve been the power move. Frank Ocean should’ve gotten a call for the album – he’s good enough for Beyonce and Jay-Z after all. I’m waiting for somebody to holler at The Weeknd for some writing, but I can see why his “I take drugs and lament on my life being vacuous” leanings might be too much, too soon for pop’s “good girl”.
Does the prospect of Leona and Will.I.Am really excite anybody? We’ve all heard that J-Lo and Mick Jagger garbage (sample lyric: “I get stacks of cash, you get cashews // I go hard… statues”), Will ain’t “Ordinary People” Will anymore. But Leona and Frank Ocean? Leona and The Weeknd? That’s some out-of-the-box thinking. Maybe holler at Drake, he’ll do it. Keep Nicki away, as much as I’d want to watch that music video. And hold on to Emeli Sande, she’s literally just made the album Leona should’ve made three years ago. In fact, seeing as the UK sound is on the rise internationally, here’s a tip – just down the corridor from Labrinth, Raf Riley‘s cooking up some dope shit with Etta Bond, cut the cheque and get some of that magic. One last thing – leave Ryan Tedder on the bench this time out.