Rita Ora is one of pop’s most lowkey superstars, but with every release you can tell that she’s not built to stay out of the spotlight. After a battle with her label and a six year gap between records, she’s finally back and here to stay. Rita Ora stays herself in her fun new album Phoenix.
Phoenix takes no time to show some original character. Opening track ‘Anywhere‘ brings the record to a unique start, a cool energy starting off the album. Following track ‘Let You Love Me' brings in more of the sweetness that embodies a lot of the rest of the record, which is further heard in ‘New Look.‘ The gentle delivery of ‘Your Song‘ keeps that softer, lowkey energy going and lets Rita Ora keep establishing her character in the record. Even the tracks you wouldn’t expect to be good will surprise you, like ‘First Time High.’
There’s more to Rita Ora than an unbreakable sweetness, though. While most of the start of the record deals with more fun attitudes and ideas, there’s a more genuine, heartfelt second-half that sees her show a bit more of herself. The big build of ‘For You (Fifty Shades Free)‘ with Liam Payne pairs wonderfully with the nice melodies to create an unshakable sense of lust and love. ‘Summer Love‘ with Rudimental follows to provide more of a warmer vibe and awesome drive. She’s more honest in ‘Girls,’ though Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX help keep the track playful. The album ends on a chiller note, ‘Keep Talking‘ with Julia Michaels lowering the energy before ‘Hell Of A Life‘ ends things on a more atmospheric note.
Rita Ora stays herself in her fun new alum Phoenix, the long awaited sophomore follow up that did not disappoint. Beyond showing that Ora is ready for the world and to enjoy it, she shows her character and refuses to let herself be used by anyone. She’s back with a confident face and she can’t be stopped.
Favorite Track: For You (Fifty Shades Freed)
Least Favorite Track: Only Want You
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Phoenix on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: