Released: December 5
One of the finest British voices to emerge in the 21st century, Rebecca Ferguson strikes gold on her fifth studio album, ‘Heaven, Pt. II’.
The first LP from the Liverpudlian star, who rose to fame as a contestant on ‘The X Factor’ in 2010, in seven years and her first release as an independent artist, the record arrives 12 years to the day since her debut, ‘Heaven’, and documents her journey towards inner peace and creative freedom.
‘As long as I can put some food on the table / I know we’re gonna be OK / I’m just surviving by the skin of my teeth’, she sings on album opener, Digging For Gold, shunning all preconceptions of the pop star lifestyle with a raw quality that runs through the set.
Vocally, she’s never sounded better and there’s a confidence in the delivery that sells each song to the max, often with brooding synthesised undercurrents that add a contemporary edge to the material.
Lyrically, ‘Heaven, Pt. II’ is also Ferguson’s most assured work to date, with personal numbers like I’m Going To Love You and Shallow Breathing sitting alongside story pieces such as Diamonds In Her Shoes and Hollywood, showcasing various dimensions of her songwriting with a welcome injection of charming personality.
Bolder and warmer than her previous album, 2017’s ‘Superwoman’, reuniting with collaborators from her first long-player seems to have been a winning move, and while she occasionally finds comfort the influence of new creatives is clear in the development of her sound, more than a decade later.
Ahead of its release, the singer-songwriter billed ‘Heaven, Pt. II’ as her final release, but given the sheer quality of the material on offer and Rebecca’s immense talent – which only seems to grow as the years go by – it would be a crying shame if this really is her final release.