One of this year’s big music success stories takes things up another notch.
Having scored three No 1 singles this year – including current chart-topper How We Do (Party) – the Kosovo-born Rita Ora is just about pop’s hottest property right now, and this debut album is likely to cement that status.
Ms. Ora may be poptastic but her music is not lowest-common-denominator chart fodder. Shaped by an army of canny, name producers from Stargate to Chase & Status via will.i.am, Ora is a sleek, classy essay in futuristic pop/R&B.
The singles still sound great but the supporting cast is just as strong. Facemelt’s stuttering electro-beats are likeably doo-lally, the deep and lustrous Radioactive could be a house-trained Ke$ha, and Uneasy is a fantastic slice of Pink-style big attitude.
Rita writes few songs herself but has fine taste in collaborators and Love and War, a duet with J Cole, is an end-of-the-tether relationship-breakdown number to rival Rihanna and Eminem’s Love The Way You Lie. RiRi would also give her eye teeth for a wracked, shoulder-heaving ballad as poignant as Hello, Hi, Goodbye, a tearful kiss-off to a departing lover.
It’s better than the last offerings from Madonna, Beyoncé or Gaga: whisper it soft, but pop might just have a new queen.