Monday, September 7, 2009

Single Review: Happy

Requester: JLE

Well, this is quite the time to be a diva fan. Whitney Houston has just released a studio album, Mariah is dropping one in a couple of weeks, and VH1 is finally resurrecting its once beloved Divas Live special. This year, the program features Leona Lewis, one of the newest pop sensations from the UK. Although I don't think she's quite earned her "diva" moniker, her latest release suggests she is well on her way to that title. Happy is a goliath of a power ballad, written and produced by Ryan Tedder. Anyone surprised by this fact hasn't been listening to the radio, because he's all over the place.

Enough about Tedder, though. Let's focus on this track. Happy is perhaps the most poorly named song I've ever heard, because the track is anything but. It's a desperate cry for satisfaction, no matter the cost, from a woman who seems to have been recently wronged. Or maybe she's unhappy with her safe lifestyle. Either way, the core message seems to be, "love is a risk and sometimes it hurts." Maybe Nazareth should be getting royalties. Anyway, given our current pop landscape, Happy does take a unique lyrical approach to a cliched subject.

Leona sounds fantastic on the track. Diva fans may be dismayed at the fact that some legendary voices are falling into disrepair. Not the case with Leona. Her pristine tone is as pure and angelic as ever, making her one of the most talented singers in the game. No complaints here. My only worry is that this song is nowhere near as fresh as Bleeding Love, which is one of the best pop songs of the decade (that list is on the docket). That being said, I do have high hopes for Happy. Nevertheless, the cynic in me thinks that it's not unique enough to be the hit that Perez Hilton claims it will be. After all, Leona isn't a diva just quite yet.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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