Archive for Estelle

61. ‘1980’ by Estelle (2004)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 10, 2010 by G.K. Reid

Before she speak her shoe-be-spoh…

Estelle’s back! Twice in the countdown. That’s pretty good going for the girl whose presence in the Live Aid 20 video caused the nation to collectively furrow their brows and enquire ‘who’s the diminutive gremlin cosying up with such musical royalty as The Darkness, Joss Stone, Rachel Stevens, and that guy out of Travis?’ It gladdens the heart that Estelle emerged from such inequity to find a place on the worldwide stage, attracting the attention of the American bigwigs and winning a Grammy along the way, because I’d been a supporter of her angler-fish rap-soul stylings since this, her debut single, proved so arresting.

1980‘ quite clearly bears the influence of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (particularly, in it’s childhood-scrapbook concept, the track ‘Every Ghetto, Every City‘) but equally, in both it’s proud Anglo-specificity and its skillful application of modern lyrics to a celebratory retro production, it also functions as a precursor to what Amy Winehouse would go on to refine and perfect. But all this wouldn’t work if Estelle couldn’t sell it so well; it’s testament to her charisma that when she presumptuously invites you to ‘come walk with me, reminisce on my life’, you don’t for a second feel like turning her down.

Bonus points: As I said, she’s in this countdown twice, but she almost scored a hat trick. I am still trying to justify to myself (and others) as to why American Boy didn’t quite make it in. 

67. ‘Pretty Please’ by Estelle feat. Cee-Lo (2008)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on January 21, 2010 by G.K. Reid

Said they’re looooooovely….
AKA: ‘The Best Song that Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell Never Recorded’. 

Cee-Lo and Estelle have two of my favourite faces in popular music. Cee-Lo’s face is a chunky, friendly affair, with that big, Pagliacci grin doing its best to obscure or overcome the deep-seated sadness inside. Estelle’s face, on the other hand, is elfin in an unfortunate way. In fact, Estelle’s face reminds me most of an elf doing an impression of an angler fish. Or vice versa. Eitherway, it screams ‘underdog!’ and thus gets my vote. That these two faces (and voices, which reflect the shielded pain and oddness of the faces beautifully) are united on such a well-calibrated revival of the kind of love duet that Marv and Tammi purveyed was always gonna be a winner for me. Hell, they may as well have gift-wrapped this song and put it under my Christmas tree.

My only disappointment is that they didn’t enact a crazy-faced homage to Marv and Tammi in the video.

Bonus points: The moment Cee-Lo’s vocals kick in. Obviously.