Is Leona Lewis really music's next big thing?

There’s been deafening Internet buzz surrounding the upcoming U.S. release of Leona Lewis’ debut CD; after all, the winner of Britain’s X-Factor has Clive Davis and Simon Cowell in her corner, and she’s already a star in Europe. Heck, EW named her one of its Eight New Faces to Watch in ’08 a few weeks back, and she gets a shout-out from Good Luck Chuck‘s music supervisor in this week’s issue.

Now, however, the American marketplace is getting its chance to vote yes or no in the matter of Leona Lewis. This week’s Billboard announces the official release of her first single, "Bleeding Love," and while her label seems to have put the kibosh on any embeddable versions of the accompanying video, you can give the track a listen (with fan-made karaoke prompts) below.

To me, there’s something slightly old-school — and by old-school, I mean circa 2001, and not necessarily in a bad way — about "Bleeding Love." The urgent organ, the driving melody, the general lack of blips, bleeps, and sing-speak spelling lessons recall a simpler time when radio wasn’t so afraid of songs that sounded like, well, songs. And while I can see why Lewis has drawn comparisons to Mariah Carey, Lewis seems less obsessed with abandoning melody and climbing Mount Melisma. That said, I’m not sure "Bleeding Love" is ever going to crack the top 100 Most Played tracks on my iPod. I mean, it’s a pretty little ditty, but it’s missing that extra little bit of musical nougat (sorry, haven’t had lunch yet), the emotional wallop of, say, "We Belong Together" or "Irreplaceable." What say you, PopWatchers? What’s your prediction for the future of "Bleeding Love," and for Lewis herself?

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  • new yorker

    Totally agree with you Slezak. I don’t feel like I’m going to be telling someone I’m bleeding love for them like I told countless people to go “to the left, to the left” or that “we belong together” from hearing this song. It just doesn’t hook me onto it like Mariah and Beyonce did. Maybe with enough airplay I’ll find it annoying and then start to like it. We’ll see how that one goes.

  • Kyle

    “Bleeding Love” has been a staple in my iPod for the past few months now, and I love her whole CD to death. It’s been on rotation in my car for a long time now. I think that Leona could really be a huge star in the US if people are willing to give her a shot. Her music reminds me of the early 90′s and Mariah Carey before she ruined her voice and went more hip-hop. She is insanely talented and her range is incredible. She is also amazing live, which will undoubtedly help her when she does her US promotional blitz. I hope she does well and I wish her all the best. She is a great talent.

  • Phil

    “Bleeding Love” is an across the board-smash! I made some mix cds for a g/f who went home to Nebraska for the holidays & put “Bleeding Love” in the middle of of one of them & she called me On X-Mas Eve just to ask me who this girl was & when her album came out or if its out yet! My g/f happens to be the night-time personality for the Top 40 Clear Channel station here in Philly, who plays Justin, T-Pain, & Timabaland all day, every day & YES ITS HER JOB! Anyways, she came back to work after the holidays pleading with her boss if they could start playing “Bleeding Love”, but he assured her not yet, but very VERY soon. The comparisons to old-school Mariah are understandable since Leona is the real deal & produced an album worth of material with not ONE hip-hop feature! “Spirit” is set to drop here in the U.S. on March 18th, ironically enough 2 weeks before Mariah Carey’s new album “That Chick” drops on April 1st!! Oh & Slezak,I have the Moto Blanco remix of “Bleeding Love”, its GREAT!

  • Phil

    Oh and the other reason the comparisons to Mariah would be evident are the fact that Leona is also a bi-racial buxom beauty! I expect she’ll be on many top sellers list for 2008, and yes, I can safely predict that and its only January 25th.

  • boredinbklyn

    soooo I heard about Leona Lewis a while back and wasn’t too impressed with the video and song. I downloaded it on my ipod, hit shuffle one day – and I loved it. It is old fashioned, but after a couple of listens – you keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding love. Geez that’s kind of creeepy isn’t it

  • Sally in Chicago

    Her management (Simon & Clive) are handling her just right. They started her in Europe and made her a hit over there and now she’s coming to America. Good song, not great, but it fits her voice quite well.
    You know — to get a hit artist these days is very hard, especially one that won’t meltdown and blow up.

  • Evan

    Leona Lewis is a phenominal singer and I can’t wait for her to hit us here in the US and be hugely successful!!
    Bleeding Love is one of those songs that doesn’t grab you straight away but after a few listens you begin to appreciate how amazing it is! Leona has a great way of keeping to the melody and not over-singing but she definitely makes her mark with her flawless vocals. The runs at the end are perfect, not too much or too little. I predict she’ll be around for a long long time!

  • rockgolf

    So has anyone mentioned that the song was co-written by teen idol Jesse (“Beautiful Soul”) McCartney?
    Just askin’.

  • flighty

    you think it won’t get into your head and demand to be played over and over again, but the more you hear it, the more you’ll need to hear it again.

  • rockgolf

    The song’s other co-writer is Ryan tedder, the lead singer and writer for OneRepublic (“Apologize”).

  • Vicky

    I think Leona Lewis has a pretty voice and I think the song definitely gets in your head with multiple plays, but it does not sound like 2001. Try 1993 and I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

  • Andy

    Ugh! Leona Lewis is the worst. Her time on “The X-Factor” was like “American Idol: The Greatest Hits,” only not so great. And has anyone ever noticed how she kind of sings in slow motion?

  • Courtney

    Blech. Yes. 1993 is the word. I think she is way too pageant-y, and that’s what Simon always calls girls derisively and says “off you go” in American auditions… so I don’t get it.

  • Steve

    She’s a stunning performer live as the countless performances on YouTube show – she blew the UK away with a live cover of Snow Patrol’s Run on the national Radio1 station (it’s a tradition to perform your single and a contemporary cover live – Alicia and Rihanna performed there same month).
    The album is old school – songs that aren’t afraid to say they’re songs. Haven’t we all had enough of the same beats and tricks under every vocal performance? It’s time for some variety back in “pop” and what better than someone with real vocal talent?

  • Anonymous

    This song will be HUGE

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