Hope is a self-written, produced, engineered and performed synthesiser overdose of an album from Derby-based multi-instrumentalist Leni Ward. Unfortunately, despite precious hype, Hope is a rather disappointing effort which lacks personality and any sense of excitement.
'One Last Time With You' opens; from the word go there are a multitude of synth layers and so too the blatant influence of the 'eighties. Despite singing about dancing, however, the track is irritatingly sluggish, perhaps largely down to the drum samples which fail to drive the track forward. Harmonically it's dreary too, and combined with Ward's vocals and self-provided harmonies, it's all a bit Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
'I Want My Heart Back' suggests Leni Ward as a cross between a lower and more bearably-voiced La Roux and a more mature-voiced Ellie Goulding with the same synth-ridden, electro pop feel which harks back to the 'eighties. With this track there's a more determined chorus with synthesised harp flourishes, but Ward's feeble, wailing voice is disastrous. 'I Want My Heart Back', like so many of the tracks on Hope, is frustrating listening because it glimpses a pushier chorus but just doesn't go anywhere. It's the same story with the plodding percussion samples and lacklustre song writing of lead single 'Opening Door'.
Continue reading: Leni Ward, Hope Album Review