- 14 Jul 23
Ora sounds rejuvenated on the euphoric but underwhelming dance record.
It’s been five years since London pop artist Rita Ora dropped her second album, Phoenix, via Atlantic Records. Since then, she’s signed a new deal with Berlin-based BMG and returned in April with ‘Praising You’, the lead single from third album You & I. The Fatboy Slim revamp did the numbers, but the record as a whole has few moments that match the infectious radio hit.
You & I is bursting with soaring, EMD-lite beats and Ora’s dance-pop polished vocals. While ‘Praising You’ keeps things in high gear, few of the tracks feel distinctive. ‘You Only Love Me’ has a smoky beat that gets stuck in your head, while the title track is a forgettable ballad of adoration.
‘Unfeel It’ and ‘Waiting For You’ repeat the vocalist’s themes of yearning, but Ora had the opportunity to use her real experiences for more direct, referential songwriting. Sonically, You & I doesn’t match up to dance efforts of Dua Lipa, Beyoncé, S.G. Lewis, Kaytraminé and Ellie Goulding, but ‘Girl in the Mirror’ is a fiery anthem that illustrates Ora’s potential. Had she continued down that road, the project would have felt more fresh. She may have a fascinating personal life, but these tracks don't reflect that spark.
Listen: ‘Girl in the Mirror’
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