Rita Ora’s new album, Phoenix, has finally arrived.
Rita has faced an uphill battle releasing a new record, the first since 2012’s self-titled. She found herself embroiled in a legal battle with former label, Roc Nation, and the songs she made with former flame, Calvin Harris, were owned by the producer – after their bitter split he refused to let her retain control (they’ve since reportedly made up, but still… rude).
In the years to come, Rita successfully kept her name afloat with judging roles on The X Factor and The Voice, but it was the tunes that kept us anxiously awaiting (be nice).
Her new album, which she dubs a “great rebirth,” is surprisingly cohesive and aligned with today’s trends. The pop music landscape drastically changes year to year, yet Rita produced a record that feels fresh.
Leading up to the release, Ora dropped a generous helping of songs, including “Let You Love Me,” “Lonely Together” with Avicii (RIP), “Your Song,” “Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack song, “For You” with Liam Payne, the “Velvet Rope” ballad, “Girls,” featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX and “Cashmere.” Basically, nearly half of it. The album also features collaborations from Julia Michaels on “Keep Talking” and “Summer Love” with Rudimental.
Phoenix couldn’t come at a better time. The Internet roasted Rita for her lip sync debacle at Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, but as she and John Legend point out, you’re forced to lip sync on the float because it simply can’t handle the audio equipment. I’ll roll with that.
Fun fact @johnlegend thank you for clarifying what I was about to also tweet. It’s annoying for us but anyway! All my shows are 100 percent live always have been! When you come to a ORA show get ready! Back to holidays! Have a good one guys! 🙂 X https://t.co/pO5hnnQgvg
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) November 22, 2018
I think the general consensus in the states about Rita is… ‘WHO?!,’ and that’s a real shame, but that could very well change with this album. Phoenix has several extra special cuts worth jumping straight into, like the Julia collab or “Summer Love” or “Only Want You.”
We’ll see where the album stacks up on the charts next week, but to be honest who cares. Phoenix is a genuinely good pop record, and after fighting for six years to release it, this is worth celebrating.