Spirit (Deluxe Version)
On Spirit, Leona Lewis wears her UK X Factor crown with easy grace. The BRIT School alumna has a voice that can soar, but she’s also brilliant at reining it in, as when she subtly introduces light R&B phrasings into songs like the Mariah-esque "Better in Time." Just as importantly, she knows the value of a good beat. "Forgive Me" has an unexpected arena-rock stomp, and the soaring vocals on lead single "Bleeding Love" are anchored by imaginative, blown-speaker kicks.