Review: Emeli Sandé's 'Let's Say For Instance' an Upbeat Reminder That Joy is Also a Part of Being Human

by Noe Kamelamela

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday May 6, 2022

Review: Emeli Sandé's 'Let's Say For Instance' an Upbeat Reminder That Joy is Also a Part of Being Human
  (Source:Chrysalis Records)

Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé's new release, "Let's Say For Instance," is her fourth album, coming to market about a decade after her debut album. As a listener, I was excited to hear more from her as an artist. She has had an interesting evolution, with a mixture of global influences, and the kind of clarity and sincerity that feels rare in a pop-dominated landscape.

Female singer-songwriters over the age of 30 are not as rare as they used to be, but I do think it is rare to have the kind of influence she has had in the past and to be the kind of artist who has handled the spotlight well. Here in the United States, she is not as well known, and her current release tour dates focus heavily on her main groups of fans in the United Kingdom and in Europe.

For people familiar with gospel, rhythm and blues, and soul and pop, as genres Sandé's music has always offered a little bit of each, with occasional chances to allow the virtuosic talents of her own voice and piano playing to shine through. Even from here all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, her themes and topics often feel universal. Each individual song situates itself with central motifs that resolve, not always classically, but in a satisfying way. Her soprano is just as fierce as when she first debuted, but her voice is not always the focus in this set of mixes, if anything, some of the end codas to songs to place all instruments at equal levels, including stacking of her voice, to overwhelming effect.

The bridges sections are my favorite parts of her songs, and also here in this release. My only problem with many of the songs is that I wish they were slightly longer, and I found myself looping some of my favorites over and over. In particular, tracks such as "Superhuman" and "Another One" struck me, both because they have different topics and are dramatically opposed on a positive and negative emotional scale. "Another One" is filled with grief, and starts simply with just her voice and piano to swell with both standard beats and strings to strip back to just her mournful voice. While people listening can infer that perhaps she is referring to any of the large conflicts going on around the world, or police violence, or any kind of violence, the raw emotion of it is beyond words, and really the kind of music which can help people express how they feel about these kind of injustices by offering a reflection of a listener's feelings. A piece like "Superhuman," or the other two quite good self-affirmation anthems on this album, are upbeat reminders that joy is also a part of being human.

Emeli Sandé's "Let's Say For Instance" will be released on May 6th.

Noe Kamelamela is a reader who reads everything and a writer who writes very little.