Reviews

Rita Ora “YOU & I” Album Review

You & I

Rita Ora

  • Genre: Pop
  • Date: 14 Jul, 2023
  • Content: cleaned
  • Track(s): 12
  • ℗ 2023 Rita Ora under exclusive licence to BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Rita Ora has always been open about her music, but the Dear Diary approach of her third studio album “You & I” is the most experimental and unquestionably the best thing she has ever done. Rita Ora contemplates her life and the person she has evolved into in the follow-up song to 2018’s “Phoenix,” “You & I.”

Rita uses “You & I” to do some serious self-reflection in an effort to make sense of it all and honor this new chapter that is her married life. Each track focuses on different aspects of her life that are conceptually threaded together to correspond with the various chapters of her relationship, not just with her partner but also with herself.

Album Cover Art

Rita Ora &Quot;You &Amp; I&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 23, 2024

Rita and her man are casually chilling in their bedroom in an everyday moment, looking like they either just came in from an event or prepping to step out for one. The warm energy of love and togetherness radiate from the shot, which seemed to inspire and shape Ora’s thought process for the creation of this album.

Tracks and Features

As the album’s opening track, “Don’t Think Twice” depicts the moment of falling, leaping into the track like diving into the water in the height of summer and establishing the mood for a song that honors the very best qualities of genuine love.

From her modest beginnings in “Notting Hill,” which transports Rita back to her adolescent years when she was hanging out with her friends and dreaming of being a pop star, to learning the value of self-love in “Girl in the Mirror,” which pays homage to her younger self, and finally to learning how to love herself today. It is clear from lines like “Gone through therapy just to get this level of healing” that Rita has worked very hard to reach self-actualization.

With the dark electro vibes of the lead single, “You Only Love Me,” which discusses longing, infatuation, and the dread of losing what might be the best thing that has ever happened to you, her love with her spouse and monogamy are honored throughout the album. Even in the midst of self-doubt, the beat is upbeat, and Rita’s optimism comes through.

Despite the topic, there is a genuine sense of joy, particularly with Rita’s rendition of Fatboy Slim’s hit song from the 1990s, “Praise You.” She is vivacious, vibrant, and triumphant on the gospel-infused house of number, reflecting that it has been “a hell of a ride” and expressing her thankfulness for discovering enduring love once more.

Equaling “Praising You” is the groovy “That Girl,” which serves as a reminder that Rita will still go out and have some wild fun even as she enters this new, undiscovered period of her life where she is settled down. On “Unfeel It,” she also manages an enticing vocal scratch that sounds a bit like Stevie Nicks. She sings passionately to the murky beat and slender pizzicato pulse. More resolute grit is added to “Shape of Me” as Ora continually thanks her mother for comforting her throughout her difficulties.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Don’t Think Twice 3:06
2 You Only Love Me 2:28
3 Praising You (feat. Fatboy Slim) 2:44
4 Unfeel It 2:41
5 Waiting for You 2:43
6 You & I 3:00
7 That Girl 3:01
8 Shape of Me 2:29
9 Look At Me Now 2:45
10 Girl in the Mirror 3:11
11 Notting Hill 2:30
12 I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend 3:14

Album Theme

Rita’s wholly autobiographical album, “You & I,” chronicles her relationship with director Taika Waititi and her marriage to him over the past few years. The album appears to be a more developed and mature body of work by Rita, who has let some of her guard down to display some inventiveness and sensitivity.

Production Credits

Alex Niceforo, Cirkut, Șerban Cazan, Jason OK, Jon Shave, Keith Sorrells, Kilian & Jo, Lewis Thompson, Mark Ralph, Nick Hahn, OAK & Yoshi Breen produced the album.

Stream

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