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Ella Henderson – Chapter One album review

The former X Factor finalist delivers a strong debut.

Ella Henderson

Ella Henderson wowed us when she auditioned for The X Factor back in 2012. Auditioning with an original song she had the judges and us in tears with her beautiful voice. Ella departed The X Factor during week 7 of the competition and her exit was one of the biggest shocks the series has served up to date. Rather than trying to capitalise on her high profile straight away, Ella has taken her time crafting a debut album that showcases her true potential.

Chapter One features the number 1 smash Ghost and Ella’s recent Top 10 hit Glow. For the album Ella has worked with the cream of the music industry’s writers and producers including Ryan Tedder, Salaam Remi, Babyface, Claude Kelly, Jamie Scott and TMS. The end result is a surprisingly mature record for the 18 year old that showcases her incredible voice in a variety of different ways.

The album opens with Ghost ensuring you land on familiar territory before giving way to the powerful Empire which sees Ella’s vocals soaring on the chorus. Across the album it’s Ella’s voice that shines the brightest driving through the melodies and sending shivers down your spine. Yours features sparse instrumentation with Ella’s voice swooping and soaring, uptempo moment Pieces builds into an epic chorus, and the Babyface produced The First Time is a cool slice of soulful pop.

The most poignant moment on the album comes on the closing track Missed. It’s the track she sang during her X Factor audition and it’s sure to bring tears to your ears. It’s Ella’s most passionate and emotive vocal on the record and one of the simplest arrangements musically on the record.

The album’s best moments are when things are kept simple. The piano ballad Lay Down is an emotional song about losing someone dear to you and the beautiful All Again laments not being over a relationship.

Chapter One will be a huge success for Ella. People are already calling her the next Adele which is pretty ridiculous as they aren’t really that similar. This is just the start for Ella and what a strong start it is. Chapter One is likely to be a huge seller in the Christmas market and we’re pretty certain an X Factor performance must be in the pipeline before the year’s out.

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