In a growing field of soulful female pop singers, Rebecca Ferguson has proven herself to be a strong contender. With three top ten albums in the UK since she placed as the runner up in the seventh series of The X Factor, she’s shown a steady career full of solid music that remains highly enjoyable and thoroughly moving. Unfortunately, that means her latest album Superwoman finds itself with some gigantic shoes to fill.
Superwoman also seems to be the moment where she doesn’t quite meet expectations. The album features a few stunning and interesting moments that stand out, with the biggest highlights being the album’s second track Mistress—A track led by a synthetic buzz akin to an organ or brass instrument, and a genuinely catchy upbeat soul number with a repetitive but addictive chorus—and the penultimate ballad, Waiting for Me—A brilliant mix of piano and sweeping strings with brilliant writing and an elegant chorus that feels like a refreshing moment on the album. These tracks represent the styles she mostly covers on the album, and also the most successful attempts to convey their power or style out of the bunch.
Tracks like Don’t Want You Back and Without a Woman attempt to capture the life that Mistress shows, but never really manage to match up despite the former coming extremely close. The rest of the album, meanwhile, rests in the territory of soul ballads and mid-tempos that we’ve all heard many times before. There isn’t much new or exciting about Superwoman, and while Ferguson has proven herself to be a strong contender in the field, that ultimately just means that Superwoman falls even shorter of par than it would have from anyone else.
While it does have its fair share of moments that match up to Ferguson’s best songs of the past, Superwoman is ultimately too safe for its own good. Nothing ever really happens across the course of the album, and it revisits its previous tracks in scope and style far too often for its own good. It’s not a terrible or unlistenable piece of work; Ferguson’s deep, jazzy voice is the single best thing about the album, and she makes even the dullest tracks at least listenable. Unfortunately, however, Superwoman just isn’t that interesting.