Single Review: Leona Lewis – Thunder / I Am

Leona Lewis I Am cover

Leona Lewis continues promotion for upcoming album with two new singles
Leona Lewis made the big decision to leave her label Syco a few months ago, because she was not happy with the direction they were planning out for her. She decided to choose her own path and soon signed with Island Records to release new music. In September her fourth studio album I Am will be released. The disappointing chart results of first single ‘Fire Under My Feet’ did not discourage her as she decided to release two brand new singles in the past week; ‘I Am’ and ‘Thunder’.

There is one thing that becomes clear from the new singles and that is that Leona knows exactly what she wants and she is not letting others stand in her way anymore. The fiery ‘Fire Under My Feet’ about making a new start was just the beginning of a string of self empowerment anthems from one of the best voices of this generation. In the powerful midetempo track ‘Thunder’ Leona declares that she is ‘not waiting any longer’ and ‘coming back with a thunder’ after somebody let her down (which could mean Simon Cowell’s Syco or a love interest). ‘I Am’ could be seen as her declaration of independence and therefore seems a logical choice as title track for the new record. The message ‘I’m still existent, I’m still here, I am, with or without you’ is simple and straightforward, but very effective at the same time. Leona has never sounded more convincing and confident in her career and that is an important step.

But what do the tracks actually sound like? Especially on ‘Thunder’, Leona goes for an organic band sound, that brings some extra power to the strong chorus. ‘I Am’ has a bit more of a beat and reminds somewhat of the work on Emeli Sandé’s debut album. Both tracks have strong melodies and of course Leona’s vocals shine, but I have to admit I doubt that these singles will bring her the success she needs at this point in her career. I had high hopes for ‘Fire Under My Feet’ as it sounded fresh and different coming from Lewis, but whese two singles, although they are certainly not lacking in quality, do not bring anything new to the table. Still, I am looking forward to the new album and hope that Leona will meet the success she deserves eventually.

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