It's been a while since I've been bopping along to an Estelle track. In 2008, the British R&B singer really hit it out of the park with "American Boy," and I don't want to believe it had anything to do with Kanye West's guest-rap verse. Although, without him, she wouldn't have won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. But I think the song was really a hit because of its content. It wasn't your average ode to love, which is kind of what the rest of her album was.
"American Boy" wasn't even her first single though. She released "Wait a Minute (Just a Touch)" five months before. It was produced by will.i.am and according to wikipedia it samples "I Put a Spell on You." It didn't do as well as "American Boy." In fact, all follow-up singles from the album weren't considered as download-worthy. I, personally, loved "No Substitute Love," which is a cover of both Reggae performer Half Pint's "Substitute Lover" and George Michael's "Faith." But even with a video that had cameos of Christian Siriano and Kelly Rowland, it didn't even chart in the U.S. "Pretty Please (Love Me)," produced by Gnarls Barkley's Cee-Lo, didn't either, but it did manage to get added to both the soundtracks of Sex and the City: The Movie and Bride Wars. The last single was "Come Over." Did you notice she shot a video for it with Sean Paul? Me either.
"Freak," which features Kardinal Offishall and samples Soul II Soul's "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)" in the chorus, is the first single off the new album she's releasing this year called All of Me. She's been working with producer/DJ David Guetta and it shows. If this single is any indication of what her new sound is going to be like, then I think we can look forward to something a little less old school upbeat R&B, and a little more club hip hop, perhaps to compete with Lady Gaga…hence the bizarro video.