In Defense of... Estelle's "Thank You"

If I were in a more adventurous, cool-hunter mood, I'd bemoan British singer Estelle's latest album, All of Me, for being too conventional, and say it would get crowded out by the likes of fellow British singers Adele and Emeli Sandé.

However, I've recently found a role for Estelle's music. When I come home from a few days at a music festival, my ears appreciate a bit of plain, modest music to unfold from all the clamor and flash. Estelle's church-like restraint fits that need. The last I heard from her was 2008's Kanye West collaboration, "American Boy." Back then, Estelle allowed herself a tease of tourist-like sass by enunciating the titular "boy" in a more colloquial "bwoi."

Four years later, Estelle's latest single, "Thank You," broadly borrows from '90s soul music, down to a twangy, sitar hook. In the chorus, writers Akon and Jerry Wonda seem to chime in with a distorted "yeah," as Estelle thanks her cheating lover "for making [her] a woman." By doing it three times, she confirms America's stereotype that British people are exceedingly polite.

A tease of British wit also appears in one line ("...could she be more of a woman to you, than you were a man to me"). Hear, hear. For making a single to chase off the music festival overload, I'd like to thank Estelle in kind with polite applause over my shoulder with white silk gloves.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi