Our Version of Events
Groomed for stardom by the U.K. press, Scottish songstress and singer Emeli Sandé has cut a debut album that surpasses all the next-big-thing buzz. Influenced by Massive Attack, Joni Mitchell, and Nina Simone, Our Vision of Events starts strong with “Heaven,” a '90s-style track that features Sandé singing soulfully over crisp, loose beats that sound straight out of Stone Roses–era Manchester. (Imagine Soho’s 1990 hit “Hippy Chick” with a stronger backbone.) “My Kind of Love” recalls bygone diva drama, with heartfelt wailing over a cinematic backdrop of minor piano chords, muted dance beats, and what sounds like a distant gospel choir. Even in the more somber and sullen ballads, like “Mountains,” Sandé sings with a phrasing that’s bustling with transcendent energy. Chiming bells, sweeping string arrangements, and other classic soul accouterments help give “Daddy” a Phil Spector (by way of Amy Winehouse) feel, but guest producer Naughty Boy helps keep things sounding fresh. Rather than go out with a bang, the set closes with the poignant piano ballad "Hope."