It’s not often that i’m able to discover new artists that have a sound I haven’t heard before but I was delighted to find this one staring back at me on the Zune Marketplace’s “New Releases” chart. Orginally I heard about Estelle from a friend, who traditionally stinks at picking out albums I might like. Produced by John Legend her second album entitled Shine showcases her talent not just rhyming to a beat, but the jazzy and sensitive undertone I noticed while watching one of her music videos on YouTube. Indeed when listening, you seem to stroll down memory lane, recalling the days of domination by Lauren Hill, or the smooth high hats and up beat backgrounds, from today’s hip-hop scene. Overall the tracks that make up the cd all greatly differ from each other, but remain relevant with fast tempo hits like American Boy, featuring Kanye West, slowing down a little with You Are, featuring John Legend, and building up to the title track Shine. Many have questions about her authenticity and lyrical orginality as weaknesses, however if there is one weakness to this album it’s the star power she uses throughout the CD, with guests like, Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley, and Kanye West, along with John Legend (a problem that I only I see to be bothered by for the record). Overall a great album for purchase if your’e into Hip-Hop/R&B, and at least worth a quick listen if you have a Zune Pass or some other music service.

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