If there is a single previous X Factor winner who, more than any other, proves the show’s inability to foster true talent and turn it into a successful and enduring career, it must surely be Leona Lewis. Doubtless the show’s most talented of all its previous contestants, and despite international mega-smash ‘Bleeding Love’ to launch her career, Leona has failed to keep people buying her records, resulting in a third album with extremely disappointing sales.
This explains how we find Leona releasing a Christmas album at this point in her career; unlike Mary J Blige, Michael Bublé or Kelly Clarkson, she is not an established artist with a dedicated fanbase, releasing a Christmas album for a bit of extra festive cash with minimal effort. No, Leona’s move screams much more Joe McElderry than Christina Aguilera. Leona, like Joe did before her, really needs this album to be a success to remain a player in the pop music industry.
Fortunately Leona still has Simon Cowell and his stacks of cash behind her, and it is this to thank for the album’s lead single, the very listenable ‘One More Sleep.’ We know that Leona could sing the phonebook and make it sound gorgeous, but surely ‘One More Sleep’ is a far better than average Christmas song. There are few Christmas songs that reach classic status, but with the brilliant production – from Richard Stannard of pop production royalty Biffco – which makes the song seem instantly recognisable whilst perfectly foregrounding Leona’s voice, who could bet against this song joining the elite few? The first time we heard the song was on the radio, and it somehow sounded like a Christmas song we have known all our lives.
Will ‘One More Sleep’ be the song to save Leona’s career? Probably not. But is it one of the most enjoyable original Christmas songs we have heard in years? Yes.
RATING: 9/10 and the Popfools seal of approval.