Bryn Terfel's Faenol Festival 2007
































Girls Aloud Shayne Ward Jamelia | Opera Gala | The Hills are Alive |Tân y Ddraig

For photos of Jamelia's performance at the Faenol Festival Click Here


After a two year absence to have and bring up her second daughter, Jamelia returns with what is easily her best album yet. If the twelve tracks on "Walk with Me" seem to have been a long-time coming, there's a lifetime of experience wrapped in these lyrics, belying the fact that Jamelia is still only 25.

This return is all the more amazing when you realise that she temporarily quit music when she was at the absolute height of her powers.

In 2004, she had three top 5 hits from her last album "Thank You" – the seminal "Superstar" (no 3), "Thank You" ( no 2) and her co-write with Chris Martin, "See It In A Boy's Eyes", which reached No 5. Incredibly, Jamelia then stormed the top 10 again with "Stop", her theme for the second Bridget Jones film.

At this point she was unstoppable, one of the most successful solo artists in the country. Her UK success was emulated in Europe where she was a continual serious chart presence, and in Australia and New Zealand where she reached No 1.

This triumphant period in Jamelia's career also saw her sweep the board at the MOBO awards, where she won all of her three nominated awards, including "Best UK Act". A week later no less a figure than Bono was genuflecting to her at the Q awards, where she won "Best Single" for ‘See It In A Boy's Eyes'. Coupled with words of high praise at the same event from Elton John, you could have been forgiven for thinking things couldn't get much better. But a week later Jamelia was signed by the prestigious modelling agency ICM and swiftly got her first contract as the face/legs of Pretty Polly and also a high profile contract with Reebok.

2004 was the most successful year in Jamelia's career but this success is about to be eclipsed with the release of her new album "Walk With Me", on which she wipes the floor with the competition. In a display of breathtaking bravado, Jamelia returns with an album as daring and innovative as it is commercial.

If the single "Something About You" might have prepared you for a harder edged Jamelia, the album reveals this to be no aberration.

For example, listen to the frenzied adrenaline fuelled onslaught that is "Do Me Right", which she co-wrote with hip hop's seminal Afrika Bambaataa who also guests on the track. Mixing hard beats with an Indian influence, the track lays down the gauntlet in the most uncompromising way. It's one of many on this record that could be a single.

Similarly on "Beware Of The Dog" Jamelia mashes a sample of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" almost unrecognisably into a 1970's-style dance stomper, so frenetic in its sense of excitement that it seems to condense pop music's joyful madness into 3 minutes. It has already been hailed by influential website popjustice as a No 1 single to be.

But it's not all hard edges; on many tracks Jamelia shows that she is equally at home with a soulful ballad. On "No More" she utilises the musical motif from The Stranglers "Golden Brown" as a platform for one of her most heartfelt vocals yet. The track "Go" is easily as moving as her classic "Thank You", the lyric inspiring an incredible vocal performance from the artist. But throughout this bravura display Jamelia never lets go of the fact that her roots are most clearly in soul and R & B. This is the anchor of her most fully realised record to date – it's certainly the best and most consistently head-spinning record of her career and marks a remarkable return to the spotlight.

Watch Jamelia rise again. The single "Something About You" is already storming the airwaves whilst the video, by Dawn Shadforth, will be a tv fixture for months to come. In the words of Smash Hits in its heyday, Jamelia is back, back, back! Except this time it's for good.

Girls Aloud Shayne Ward Jamelia | Opera Gala | The Hills are Alive |Tân y Ddraig

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