Leading off her second album with a Ryan Tedder-penned track, Happy, the lovely Leona Lewis is clearly sticking to the formula with this one.
Now, we’re obviously fans of Leona here on Unreality Shout – I’ve read brilliant reviews penned by RandomEnigma and Jay-D lately. Unfortunately, Happy gives me mixed feelings. With Leona, the voice is a given. It will always be flawlessly crystaline and beautiful, even on the high notes. But the song is a wrist-slashingly plodding tedderballad.
As Vicki on the BBC Chartblog says:
The song is pretty much exactly what anyone would have expected from her comeback – it’s good, it’s strong but oh, it’s just that little bit boring. Think you haven’t heard it yet? Trust me, you have, it’s the one you wrote off as a poor man’s ‘Bleeding Love’. That’s not to say though that it isn’t good in parts, because it REALLY is. One of those parts is obviously her voice, which really is flipping incredible
The video does make the song more palatable though – we have Leona playing the part of cute girl in what looks like a Mexican/Italian/Colombian village. And believe me, she looks gorgeous, really natural and adorable. The narrative shows her and a boy in various flirtatious scenes, and the story looks fairly obvious…until we discover that the guy’s getting married to one of Leona’s friends – and she’s a bridesmaid!
It’s an interesting twist on the typical romantic video, and at least it ties into the song in some way.
However, I don’t think Happy is going to make my list of favourite ever Leona Lewis songs. I’m not comfortable with this being another Bleeding Love style song. It sounds like she’s covering herself. And I’m going to keep saying this until somebody listens – people need to stop using Ryan Tedder songs!
I’m actually holding out for a release of I Got You, which is a more innovative single for Leona. Perhaps not as playful as Forgive Me, but shows Leona has more versatility as a pop artist than she’s given credit for.
Here’s Leona performing Happy on America’s Got Talent.