Leona Lewis, ‘Collide’ – Song Review
Leona Lewis, known for winning the British version of ‘X Factor’ one year and for her aching 2007 breakthrough, ‘Bleeding Love,’ has issued her first taste of new music in two years in the form of the mid-tempo ‘Collide,’ which will be on her forthcoming third album.
The song strings synthetic beats with Lewis’ layered vocal harmonies and angelic pre-choruses. The first half of the song finds Lewis exercising incredible restraint, as she doesn’t let her remarkable, room-filling, enviable voice soar like we are used to. It’s an odd choice for her producers, handlers, managers and label execs to allow the singer to hold back like this. But it’s also effective, because once Lewis lets ‘er rip, it’s nothing short of mesmerizing. She builds up the tension so that she can release it, which is a fairly common songwriting device.
‘Collide’ is a supportive, prom-friendly, first-love song, lyrically speaking. Lewis croons, “I’ll pick you up when you are down / Be there when no one’s around / I’m in tune with how you feel / Everything bout this is real / When you’re in the familiar places / Count on me through life’s changes.” It’s not exactly poetic or provocative, but it gets the point across.
The powerhouse voice that dominated ‘Bleeding Love,’ unarguably her biggest hit, is certainly muted, relatively speaking, on the track, until about midway through, when she sings ‘Crash into me / At full speed.’ It’s life imitating art, as Lewis’ voice feels like it knocks right into us. This is what Lewis fans have been waiting for, and she indulges the power and breadth of her voice here.
The song builds momentum and it’s the ‘Crash into me’ parts that are most appealing and captivating. The song probably would be best served if always steered by Lewis’ DNA distinct voice, but it isn’t, so your ears will just have to adjust and enjoy the slow, steady build up to the big pay off that comes in the latter portion of the song.
Listen to Leona Lewis, ‘Collide’