I see some of y’all are prematurely wrapping a bow on the proverbial coffin of Leona Lewis‘ career.
It’s hard to believe that the top-selling British X Factor diva who once put a wrecking ball to the charts with ‘Bleeding Love’ is now struggling to get an inch of anyone’s care factor.
Leona‘s latest single ‘Trouble’ – co-written by Emeli Sandé - is the first sign of life from her forthcoming third studio album Glassheart, which was presumed dead when it was abruptly pulled from the release schedule last year following the lacklustre results of her dance single ‘Collide’.
‘Trouble’ takes Leona back to where she fits best: making moody ballads. The song is something of a slight masterpiece with nods to Massive Attack. For the kids playing at home who prefer a more present-time reference, ‘Trouble’ stirs the soul in a similar fashion to Emeli Sandé‘s own single ‘Daddy’ – which was also produced by Naughty Boy.
The music video for ‘Trouble’ – which stars Teen Wolf adonis Colton Haynes – feels like a whole lot of smoke but no fire. For a song that bears such descriptive and emotive lyrics, you would expect for the video’s narrative to not just reflect its themes but take it to a whole new level.
The song’s retelling of a tumultuous relationship with a troubled individual was not fully realised in the video. What was so dark about Leona’s character in this video? You see her repeatedly dropping her head to her hands, singing she’s a “whole lot of trouble” – but there was no real indication that she was.
So, the couple had a fight, and pillows and glasses were thrown. Isn’t that a pretty typical outcome when two people squabble over possession of the TV remote?
The whole time you’re sitting here with your bowl of Coco Pops, spoon suspended before your lips in anticipation of something more, you get no insight into her character.
I would’ve loved it if they threw in shots of Leona collecting her possessions after getting bailed out of jail, sitting in a brightly lit room in a support group circle, perhaps even revelations of a vanity cupboard full of prescription medication. Y’know, the kinda gritty shit a vanilla-fairy floss-and-unicorns popstar like Leona wouldn’t be expected to do.
Snaps where snaps are due – the styling and cinematography here is looking well on point. Director Raul B Fernandez - who has done music videos like We The Kings‘ ‘We’ll Be A Dream’ and Port O’Brien‘s ‘My Will is Good’ – draws out the heavy mind games behind the characters with great finesse.
This was probably best depicted in the party scene with the couple’s knowing glances and forced interactions, followed by the chilling disconnect when they are alone in the lift. Man, did that hit close to home for me.
Watch the music video for ‘Trouble’:
Leona Lewis will turn out ‘Trouble’ in the UK on 5 October, a week before her Glassheart album arrives there.
She is set to perform that weekend on the UK X Factor to promote the single’s arrival, so strategically-speaking she should get a decent Top 5 debut out of it.