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Single Review: Emeli Sand̩ РNext To Me

Photo: Pauline Keightley

We’re expecting a lot from Emeli Sande, aren’t we? Following in the footsteps of Florence, Jessie and Ellie in being honoured pre-career by the Brit Awards, she has a lot to live up to; particularly as pretty much all of the Critics Choice alumni have gone on to big things. ‘Next To Me’ marks the third solo release from her upcoming album ‘Our Version Of Events’ and takes things in quite a different direction.

Emeli’s voice, as expected, is key to her stunning delivery; it’s refreshing to hear a warm, smooth vocal performance as opposed to somebody attempting to smash the highest of notes on every track. It works alongside the retro-styled brass and drum-led hook and the outcome is worlds apart from the acoustic ballad she performed on Jools Holland. Despite this, Emeli manages, with ease might I add, to deliver a mass of emotion in both renditions and in doing so promises a series of potentially phenomenal stripped back performances in the future (live lounge, are you reading this?!)

Sonically, ‘Next To Me’ edges closer to ‘Shine’ by Take That than the dense throes of previous single ‘Daddy’ or the euphoric debut ‘Heaven’ which suggests that the album may be a pretty varied output. We can unite the tracks heard thus far, however, on their high standard and ability to attach themselves to your subconscious; one or two plays of ‘Next To Me’ should be enough to cause an addiction to the undeniable chorus.

It is likely that ‘Next To Me’ will be outdone by the rest of her record, but as far as hook-laden chart bothering goes, it’s a pretty decent choice. It’s certainly a grower and it might not be as instant as her debut, but with the amount of press she’ll be given, it looks like all bets are on a number one album and ‘Next To Me’ should help in selling a few extra copies.

Words: Simon McMurdo
Photo: Pauline Keightley

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