So after the six year wait since her debut and all the litigation the Phoenix has risen from the ashes. Ora is back stronger than ever with her newly released (Nov 23) album Phoenix. It’s obvious to the naked eye that the metaphorical title means from the ashes, Rita rises anew. A tad melodramatic if you ask me, but it has got us listening.
As the chorus of her final track played you can’t help but resonate to the hardships and pain that she has endured in this vast, fast paced industry we call Hollywood. Ora’s honest confession closes this chapter of her musical journey with an insight into her growth and understanding. “I’m a soul survivor, I made it through the fire. I started with nothing, I’ve got nothing to lose”. “Phoenix” as a whole is an album that was freeing and refreshing collection of tracks that takes you on this whirlwind journey through the pop EDM anthems with the combination of raw, honest moments that explores her deep emotions. It acts as a great depiction to her painful experiences and at the same time shaping the negative one into positive attributions.
The albums opens up with the lovesick banger ‘Anywhere’, personally my favourite track of hers. It is a slick tropical pop beat that drops this early 2000’s inspired club ready breakdown, very much early twenties discovery stage in one’s life that we all go through, which is oh so great.
Following it up with the skilful and easy listening single ‘Let Me Love You’ she showcases her song writing strengths with a chorus that has been all over radio. But it’s the first new track ‘New Love’ which will stop you in your tracks with its sassy and honest delivery about an unfaithful partner. “What are you gonna do when the sun goes down, who are you gonna love when I’m not around?”.
Her previously released singles such as ‘Your Song’, ‘Lonely Together’ that offer a light pop production that breezes through big sing-alongs. But where Rita really outshined herself would have to be in her more sedued and emotional moments. ‘Only Want You’ steps it back to a similar slow RNB jam production to ‘Body On You’ and instead of being seductive like most love songs, she breaks down her barriers and tells an ex-lover how she truly feels. “I don’t want somebody like you, I only want you, and I only want you”. It’s one of the only tracks that show indepth emotion, direct and relatable tracks as she doesn’t really hold back or hide behind metaphors.
From there the album shifts to the RNB and jazz it’s in these tracks that her vocals really glowed. She doesn’t drift too far from her pop and RNB roots but she does explore various production styles to give listeners a varied experience.
The album; Phoenix is very much more polished in comparence to her debut and excitingly hears her preparing for the arena shows her upcoming UK tour sees her headlining. After a four year wait this album doesn’t fail in delivering hits, bops, emotional, heart-breaking and relatable moments and everything in between.
Don’t forget too catch Likely.com.my on their article of The Evolution of Rita Ora’s Fashion