Rita Ora – ‘ORA’

30 Aug

After three number one singles, Rita Ora has finally dropped her début album, ‘ORA‘. The album, and arguably Ora herself, have been in the making for two years; being passed from writer to producer and back again. With the help of Diplo, Chase & Status, Will.I.Am and many more, the album is a treasure trove for party-goers and pop-princesses. Reflecting Ora’s own eccentric and colourful personality, the album is abundant with various pop-hybrids, infectious beats and captivating lyrics, thus possessing all the ingredients for mainstream success.

Admittedly, as a collection the album is weak, meaning the record can eventual become background noise. It is definitely an experiment for the young performer; it is not as ‘mind-blowing’ as it could have been after two years in production. There are, however, a couple of gems hidden in the track-list, but which will turn your head?

1. ‘Facemelt‘ – Diplo’s aggressive introduction has the singer swapping her strong voice for a distorted rap, reflecting Jay-Z’s hip-hop influence, accompanied by a heavy bass and sonic synths.

2. ‘Roc The Life‘ – The aggression carries through as Ora lives out her dreams and fights through life’s obstacles with full confidence; “Baby watch it from the sidelines / While I rock the life”. Challenging drums beats and edgy guitar riffs provide the track with a huge dose of attitude creating an alternative-inspired soundscape. Although the chorus lacks creativity – a simple case of repetition – the energy is overwhelming enough to make the single stand out.

3. ‘How We Do (Party)‘ – Ora’s third number one single has become a theme-tune for all who love to party. It’s anthemic vibe and carefree attitude will infect any listener. Check out the full review here!

4. ‘R.I.P.‘ (Ft. Tinie Tempah) – Acting as her début single, the Tempah-supported track was Ora’s second number one single. Edgy and effortlessly sexy, the single saw the singer compared to Rihanna thanks to the strong vocals and daring attitude. Check out the full review here!

5. ‘Radioactive‘ – Another club anthem that is set for release in September. Embracing the intoxicating effects of clubbing, Ora is once again carefree and full of life. Catchy beats and energetic synths make it another party-favourite that is bound to dominate the charts. “Palms to the sky / We unite”, Ora sings outs, pulling all music lovers together in an anthem that will be electric during live shows.

6. ‘Shine Ya Light‘ – A more edgy club tune in which the hip-hop synths battle out with the rock-inspired drum beats. Reflecting ‘Roc the Life‘ in its aggression and motivational tone, ‘Shine Ya Light‘ is another anthemic track led by Ora’s fiery confidence: “Set the world on fire!”

7. ‘Love And War‘ (Ft. J. Cole) – Pop is put aside as Ora returns to hip-hop with her vocals taking on a more rap-like rhythm. Desperate and powerful, a more sensitive side of Ora is revealed as she fights to maintain a relationship; “I don’t wanna fight any more.” The atmosphere is overwhelmingly tense with war-like drums and rapid synths, illustrating perfectly the hostile and determined attitude the vocalists are trying to put forward.

8. ‘Uneasy‘ – Punky soundscapes contrasted against a hip-hop attitude illustrates Ora’s uncertain mentality. The beats are infectious and Ora’s hostile energy is captivating alongside the guitar riffs and underground synths. Lyrically, the track is equally aggressive and captivating; “My make-up is my armour for the dramas that I always fight” Ora raps before singing out “I just can’t free my mind / It’s making me uneasy”.

9. ‘Fall In Love‘ (Ft. Will.I.Am) – The party atmosphere returns with a sonic drum ‘n’ bass soundscape produced by The Voice UK judge, Will.I.Am. Probably one of the least exciting tracks on the album, it is messy and Ora’s stunning vocals fall victim to some unnecessary auto-tuning.

10. ‘Been Lying‘ – Vocally inspired by Beyoncé, Ora addresses the realities of a broken relationship. A beautiful indie-pop tune that is lyrically striking and gentle on the ears whilst tugging at the heart-stings. It is simple and honest, escaping the demanding noise of the  electric synths and auto-tuning; there is a tasteful authenticity about it.

11. ‘Hello, Hi, Goodbye‘ – Following where the previous left off, Ora remains sensitive with personal lyrics and a desperate tone; “we’re too young to understand love”. Heartbreaking and authentic with an R&B flavour, Beyoncé’s influence remains strong as Ora pushes her pop image into ballad territory.

12. ‘Hot Right Now‘ (Ft. Rita Ora) – DJ Fresh closes the standard version of the album with Ora’s original party anthem. The single was her first number one, placing her in the mainstream spotlight. It closes with a joyful and carefree attitude as Ora celebrates her success.

Deluxe Version:
13. ‘Crazy Girl‘ – Produced by Diplo, the track is energetic and edgy as Ora explores her power over men. Effortlessly sexy and spicy, the track shows Ora’s daring personality in a darker light.
14. ‘Young, Single & Sexy‘ – One for the girls, Ora adopts another indie-pop soundscape to celebrate her youth. Ora promotes the single lifestyle with a huge dose of happiness that is bound to infect any listener; “I’m sexy and free/ That’s how it should be!”
15. ‘Meet Ya‘ – An upbeat reggae beat with playful acoustics creates a youthful sound as Ora dreams of reuniting a long-lost lover.

So the album is a pick ‘n’ mix of genres and topics as Ora shows she still has a lot of growing-up to do. But she is in no rush, and listeners will appreciate her carefree attitude and party anthems whilst also shedding tears at the heartache the singer has endured. Ora pulls off every genre perfectly, from punk to hip-hop, and so it will be interesting to see how she will grow into a more static musical image.

‘Radioactive’ is set to be the next release; check it out below!

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