Rebecca Ferguson was first thrust into the spotlight during the 2010 X Factor TV competition, where the soulful Scouser eventually finished runner-up to Matt Cardle, in front of the now superstars, One Direction. Since then she signed to Cowell’s Sony Company ‘Syco’, performed on several UK, US & Global tours, whilst her new album, Heaven Part II, will be her fifth, and final, release. The decision to quit stems from a desire to escape industry challenges, where Ferguson has expressed frustration with its dynamics. Because of these experiences, Ferguson has committed to advocating for musicians’ rights and protecting new talent, and has taken up several roles in music associations in order to protect the new wave of artists.
Heaven Part II opens proceedings with Digging For Gold – silky, soulful lyrics about persevering through life’s challenges, supported by some lovely synths and orchestral harmonies. Dropping the tempo, I’m Going To Love You has a real choral, gospel feel to it, with background harmonies stealing the show, whilst From Now On continues the tempo but feel more like a track pulled straight out of the 1980s (in a good way). Shallow Breathing has a mellow DnB vibe to the beat, immediately comparing the track some of Jess Glynne’s down tempo tracks.
The melody begins slowly on I Have A Dream, but this very quickly turns into an upbeat uplifting belter, my favourite track on the album. Diamonds In Her Shoes is an inoffensive pop song with a fantastic hook to the chorus which will find you blurting out “Hey now, look at her life…” at random for no apparent reason, while following is Found My Voice which returns to the more downtempo, soulful tracks from earlier in the album. Hollywood opens with the heavy beat of the drum, in a track which has fantastic verses, but I’m left somewhat lacking at the chorus, which is a real shame. Some lovely trumpet play and collab work from Parker Ighile runs through penultimate track Run Rebecca which is a fantastic short tune, which leaves You Don’t Have To Leave to round off proceedings with an energetic number with some fantastic distortions used in the vocals.
Heaven Part II was said to be considered as the follow up album to Fergusons debut, “Heaven”, and I think it’s a fitting end (for now) to her discography. At times the album lacks a little production quality and some of the tracks do feel a little out of date, but there is no denying Rebecca is, was, and always will be considered a talented singer. From her debut on TV all the way through to Heaven Part II her soulful voice, emotional depth and versatility was never in doubt.