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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Studio album by Leona Lewis
Released 9 November 2009
(see release history)
Recorded January–September 2009
(see recording locations)
Genre Pop, R&B, pop rock
Length 59:03
Label Syco / J
Producer Simon Cowell (executive)
Clive Davis (executive)
Jeff Bhasker, Arnthor Birgisson, Julian Bunetta, Andrew Frampton, Kristian Lundin, Uriel Kadouch, Max Martin, Harvey Mason, Jr., Steve Robson, Kevin Rudolf, John Shanks, Shellback, Ryan Tedder, The Y's
Leona Lewis chronology
Singles from Echo
  1. "Happy"
    Released: 15 September 2009 (2009-09-15)
  2. "I Got You"
    Released: 21 February 2010 (2010-02-21)

Echo is the second studio album by English pop/R&B singer and songwriter Leona Lewis. It was released on 16 November in the United Kingdom by Syco Music,[1] followed by 17 November in the United States under J Records.[2] Its worldwide release was through Sony Music.[3]

Lewis worked with Ryan Tedder, Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, John Shanks, and Harvey Mason, Jr. amongst others to produce the follow-up to her debut album Spirit. The album was preceded by the single "Happy", released on 15 September. "I Got You" was released as the second single in February 2010.


Background and production

As with Lewis's debut album, Spirit, each of Echo's producers were enlisted by her mentors Simon Cowell and Clive Davis.[4] Unlike her debut album where she travelled between cities, Echo was recorded entirely in Los Angeles and took nine months to produce.[5] It contains ballads, racier tracks and dancefloor anthems.[6] Lewis titled the album Echo "since an echo describes a big, organic sound,"[1] and it appealed to her love of fantasy as Echo was a nymph who, in Greek mythology, "pined away till only her voice remained."[7] In August 2009 Lewis told her official website: "I'm in the midst of the recording process, working with incredible songwriters and producers, and my music has really evolved. It's so exciting to create something new."[1] She also said, "I'm actually more confident with this album than the last. I've taken more control this time and I feel more at ease with everything."[8] She told Variety magazine that she "wanted the album to have a little bit more of a live feel to it, with a little more live instrumentation,"[9] and described Echo as "more guitar-driven" compared to Spirit, with a "harder edge" in an interview with Seventeen.[10]

Lewis worked with Ryan Tedder, producer of her second single "Bleeding Love", on the album's lead single "Happy", written by Lewis, Tedder and Evan Bogart,[11] and "You Don't Care".[12] Tedder commented, "I pushed [Lewis] vocally more on this song than any song she's ever done. I mean, she did some stuff on "Happy" that's awesome, but this other song she takes it to another level."[12] The song "Lost Then Found" was also co-written by Tedder and Lewis along with Dan Muckala, Jess Cates and Lindy Robbins, and features Tedder's band OneRepublic. Another Tedder song, "Shadows", was written with AJ McLean for the Backstreet Boys. After it failed to make the Backstreet Boys' album, Cowell wanted it for Lewis but then decided it better suited Westlife.[13]

Justin Timberlake contributed production and backing vocals to several songs,[14] including "Don't Let Me Down", written and produced with Timberlake's production team The Y's and recorded at Chalice Recording Studios.[4][15] Arnthor Birgisson worked with Lewis on the songs "My Hands" and "Heartbeat", which were written by Ina Wroldsen and Birgisson.[16] "My Hands" features on Echo, while "Heartbeat" is the B-side for the album's second single.[17] Max Martin and Birgisson worked with Lewis on the song "I Got You"[4] with Martin also contributing to the dance track "Outta My Head"[18] written by Martin, Johan Karl Schuster and Kotecha.[19] Schuster also produced the upbeat[20] "Naked" along with Kristian Lundin. It was written by Lewis, Lundin and Kotecha.[21]

John Shanks produced two songs, a ballad and an uptempo song,[22] one of which is "Broken",[23] written by Shanks, Novel and Lewis.[21] Julian Bunetta worked with Lewis[8] along with Andrew Frampton to produce "Brave", which was written by Frampton, Bunetta, Kotecha and Lewis.[21] Kevin Rudolf produced "Love Letter",[21][24] which he co-wrote with J. Kasher.[21] In September 2009, Lewis worked with Harvey Mason, Jr.,[25] Uriel Kadouch, Keith Ross, and Gavriel Aminov to produce "Can't Breathe".[21] The album also contains a cover of Oasis's "Stop Crying Your Heart Out", which was produced by Steve Robson.[21]

Lewis also worked with several writers and producers on songs that failed to make the album. Toby Gad worked with Lewis[26] including writing the song "Unreachable" with Lewis and Robbins.[27] Taio Cruz was hired by Cowell to write and produce tracks for the album,[28] and Irish Indie band The Script agreed to write a song.[29] Production and songwriting team Xenomania were reported to have written five songs for Lewis's second album, described by songwriter Miranda Cooper as "tragic songs with a twist."[30] Ne-Yo wrote songs for the album,[31] including "Can't Fight It".[4] Lewis expressed interest in working with Chris Martin of Coldplay to give the album a rockier edge,[32] though a collaboration never came to light.[4] Several demos are said to be influenced by Coldplay,[33] and Lewis collaborated with rock singer Aqualung.[4][34] She was also reported to have worked with DJ Infamous,[35] Claude Kelly,[36] and Los Da Mystro.[37] She worked with Timbaland in April 2009,[38] and explained the reason for his tracks not appearing on Echo: "I went in the studio with Timbaland and we vibed out. The thing is, on this album, there were a lot of people that I'd been with on the first album so I knew them and we kinda got into the vibe straight away. Obviously I'm still getting to know Timbaland, it's kind of a continuing and evolving relationship, so this time he's not on the album, but hopefully next time he will be".[39]

The album was released in three formats. In addition to the standard edition, albums downloaded from iTunes receive two live performance songs.[40] The two live songs, "Brave" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face",[41] were recorded at a concert at London's Hackney Empire on 2 November 2009.[42]

Stolen demos

In August 2009, several of the album's unfinished songs leaked onto the internet and it is believed that computers at Lewis's record label were hacked into. An investigation was launched by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, working with the record label and police to track down those responsible.[43][44] Lewis confirmed during an interview with an Australian radio station that some of the songs that leaked would be included on the album.[45]

Album packaging and design

In an interview with Seventeen magazine, Lewis described the album's packaging and design as having a desert setting.[10] Each of Lewis's outfits, described as "modern, 'heroine' gowns", was designed by Vivienne Westwood. Each gown was made-to-measure in Westwood's central London atelier. They are created in gold lamé and white satin, are fitted around a boned leotard and feature the designer's signature cleavage-enhancing corset, with a crinoline-style skirt.[46] One costume depicts Lewis as a mermaid, an idea that Lewis suggested.[10] Lewis also wears Westwood's dresses in her music videos and during promotional events for the album and singles.[47] The album's cover debuted on 5 October 2009.


Lewis was scheduled to appear on the BBC's The One Show on 14 October 2009, but she pulled out following an incident at a booksigning of her autobiography Dreams where a man punched her in the face.[48] She also cancelled a two-day promotional trip to Germany.[48] She rescheduled her appearance on The One Show to 26 October. Lewis performed an exclusive live show at the Hackney Empire in London on 2 November 2009, her first full UK show,[49][50] where she performed nine songs in total, including four from Echo.[51] Lewis will start her debut world tour in May 2010. Dates in the United Kingdom and Ireland have been confirmed.[52]

Lewis performed again on The X Factor final, on 13 December, singing her rendition of "Stop Crying Your Heart Out". Following this performance, the song charted at 29 in the UK singles charts from strong downloads.[53] On 3 December 2009, Lewis performed "Happy", "I Got You" and "Stop Crying Your Heart Out", as well as two songs from Spirit, on the BBC Radio 2 show Live Sessions with Ken Bruce.[54] She also performed "I Got You" and "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.

The track "My Hands" was chosen as the theme song for the video game Final Fantasy XIII's release in North America and Europe.[55]


  • "Happy", the first single from the album, was released to download in the United States and Canada in September 2009, and worldwide in November 2009. It reached number 31 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100,[56] and number 15 in the Canadian Hot 100.[57] In the Australian ARIA Singles Chart it reached number 26.[58] In Billboard's Japan Hot 100 it reached number 7.[59] It also charted in the Dutch Single Top 100 at number 74 and in New Zealand at 35.[60] "Happy" entered the UK chart at number 2 and was certified Silver (200,000+).[61]
  • "I Got You" was released as the second single in the UK on 21 February 2010 and has so far peaked at number 14 on the UK Singles Chart and number 3 on the UK R&B Chart

Critical reception

 Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[62]
Billboard (favorable)[63]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[64]
Entertainment Weekly (C+)[65]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[66]
The Independent (mixed)[67]
MusicOMH 2/5 stars[68]
The New York Times (favorable)[69]
The Observer 3/5 stars[70]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[71]
Slant 2.5/5 stars[72]
The Times 4/5 stars[73]

Critical response to the album has been generally positive. The Observer's review of Echo gave the album three out of five stars, with reviewer Peter Robinson writing, "Unusually for an X Factor graduate, there was actually something at risk if the second album didn't work, but Echo hits its target. A handful of upbeat numbers — including an unexpected foray into frothy high-speed electro — pull Leona back from the brink of boring."[74] Jim Farber of the New York Daily News agreed, writing "Echo has a sense of fun, and a youthful vim, rarely on display on Spirit. It's faster, harder and way catchier."[75] Neil McCormick, writing in The Daily Telegraph, said Lewis's "mezzo-soprano range allows her to take melodies from luxurious low notes to high-flying falsetto, gliding with elegant power and impressive control through all kinds of fluctuations and modulations. [...] The approach of the album's producers is to throw Leona at a song, with multi-tracked vocals shooting off in every direction, until you feel like you're listening to a room full of cloned divas fighting over who gets the top line. It's an exhausting yet strangely exhilarating experience."[76] Heat's Karen Edwards awarded the album five stars out of five, saying "From girlie pop to big ballads, this album will remind you what the fuss is all about. Future X Factor winners take note: this is what real talent sounds like."[77]

On the other hand, some reviews were harsh, Entertainment Weekly said that "Too much of "Echo" is mired in soppy balladry and standard-issue dancery" adding that "When it works, however, as on the soaring Happy and feathery, synth-laden I Got You, all is (momentarily) redeemed".[78] The Guardian said that "Echo's 13 tracks, which were co-written by Justin Timberlake, One Republic's Ryan Tedder and other costly names, follow the formula of her debut: the slow, piano-accented build-up, punctuated by sharp intakes of breath and vocal curlicues, then the climactic explosion as the drums crash in and she hits the chorus. That voice is impressive enough and there's no denying the stolid catchiness of some songs – notably Happy and her cover of Oasis's Stop Crying Your Heart Out – but she appears to lack the lightness of touch this album desperately needs".[79] Slant Magazine stated that "...less compelling material, particularly in the album's second half, finds Lewis's talent squandered. The gooier adult contemporary numbers, of which "I Got You" is the worst, tend to add a lot of unnecessary vocal doctoring to the mix, edging on the faceless robo-pop that has become all too ubiquitous in the age of Auto-Tune. And too much of the album's runtime is dominated by altogether thoughtless ballads, like the languid late-album duo of "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" and "Don't Let Me Down," in which Lewis confronts dull, piano-driven arrangements with vocals that, while technically unimpeachable, lack any warmth or emotional expression".[80]

Track listing

The track listing was first released on 6 October 2009 on the UK version of Lewis's official website.[81] Later the official website in Switzerland revealed the album credits on 20 October 2009.[21]

Standard listing
Track Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Happy"   Leona Lewis, Ryan Tedder, Evan Bogart  Ryan Tedder 4:01
2. "I Got You"   Arnthor Birgisson, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha Arnthor Birgisson 3:45
3. "Can't Breathe"   Lewis, Keith Ross, Uriel Kadouch, Gavriel Aminov, Cheryline Lim, Michael Malih, Lundon J. Knighten Uriel Kadouch, Harvey Mason, Jr. 4:14
4. "Brave"   Lewis, Andrew Frampton, Julian Bunetta, Kotecha Julian Bunetta, Andrew Frampton 3:36
5. "Outta My Head"   Martin, Johan Karl Schuster, Kotecha  Max Martin, Shellback 3:39
6. "My Hands"   Ina Wroldsen, Birgisson Arnthor Birgisson 4:12
7. "Love Letter"   Kevin Rudolf, J. Kasher Kevin Rudolf 4:00
8. "Broken"   Lewis, John Shanks, Novel John Shanks 4:03
9. "Naked"   Lewis, Kristian Lundin, Kotecha Kristian Lundin, Shellback 3:49
10. "Stop Crying Your Heart Out"   Noel Gallagher Steve Robson 4:08
11. "Don't Let Me Down"   Lewis, Justin Timberlake, Robin Tadross, Mike Elizondo, James Fauntleroy The Y's, Mike Elizondo 4:36
12. "Alive"   Lewis, Shanks, Danielle Brisebois John Shanks 3:29
13. "Lost Then Found" (with OneRepublic) Lewis, Tedder, Dan Muckala, Jess Cates, Lindy Robbins Ryan Tedder 4.00
14. "Stone Hearts & Hand Grenades" (hidden track appended to "Lost Then Found", starts 7:05 into the track, after 3:05 of silence) Lewis, Bogart, Frampton, Bunetta Julian Bunetta, Andrew Frampton  
North American standard listing
Track Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Happy"   Lewis, Tedder, Bogart Ryan Tedder 4:02
2. "I Got You"   Martin, Birgisson, Kotecha Arnthor Birgisson 3:45
3. "Love Letter"   Rudolf, Kasher Kevin Rudolf 4:00
4. "Can't Breathe"   Lewis, Kadouch, Aminov, Lim, Ross, Malih, Knighten Uriel Kadouch, Harvey Mason, Jr. 4:14
5. "You Don't Care"   Tedder, Lewis Ryan Tedder 4:04
6. "Outta My Head"   Martin, Schuster, Kotecha Max Martin, Shellback 3:39
7. "Brave"   Frampton, Bunetta, Kotecha, Lewis Julian Bunetta, Andrew Frampton 3:36
8. "My Hands"   Wroldsen, Birgisson Arnthor Birgisson 4:12
9. "Alive"   Lewis, Shanks, Brisebois John Shanks 3:29
10. "Don't Let Me Down"   Lewis, Timberlake, Tadross, Fauntleroy, Elizondo The Y's, Mike Elizondo 4:36
11. "Fly Here Now"   Jeff Bhasker, Lewis Jeff Bhasker 3:42
12. "Broken"   Lewis, Shanks, Novel John Shanks 4:03
13. "Lost Then Found" (with OneRepublic) Lewis, Tedder, Muckala, Cates, Robbins Ryan Tedder 11:09
14. "Stone Hearts & Hand Grenades" (hidden track appended to "Lost Then Found", starts 7:05 into the track, after 3:05 of silence) Lewis, Bogart, Frampton, Bunetta Julian Bunetta, Andrew Frampton  


  • Lead vocalsLeona Lewis
  • Background vocals – Lewis, Ryan Tedder, Brent Kutzle, Justin Timberlake, Mandy Foster, Vicky Sandström, Cheryline "Che'Nelle" Lim, Stephen Simmonds, Sara-Jane Skeet, Beverly Skeet
  • Piano – Tedder, Andrew Frampton, Kristian Lundin, Steve Robson, Dan Muckala
  • Keyboards – Frampton, John Shanks, Charles Judge
  • Drums – Tedder, Bunetta, Vinnie Colaiuta, Karl Brazil, Eddie Fisher
  • Guitars – Frampton, Shanks, Esbjörn Öhrwall, Luke Potashnick
  • Bass guitar – Bunetta, Shanks, Kutzle, John Garrison
  • Acoustic guitar – Tedder
  • Synthesiser – Tedder, Kutzle
  • Strings – Christine Wu, Urban Soul Orchestra, London Session Orchestra
  • Cello – Kutzle
  • Instruments on "Can't Breathe" – Uriel "Frenchie" Kadouch, "Vein"
  • All instruments on "Naked" – Shellback
  • All instruments on "Love Letter" – Kevin Rudolf
  • Other instrumentation on "Lost Then Found" – Tedder, Kutzle
  • Production – Tedder, Arnthor Birgisson, Julian Bunetta, Kadouch, Frampton, Max Martin, Shellback, "Vein", Shanks, Lundin, Robson, The Y's
  • Vocal production – Lewis, Tedder, Birgisson, Bunetta, Frampton, Rudolf, Foster, Shanks, Lundin, Robson, Harvey Mason, Jr., Timberlake
  • Co-production – Mike Elizondo, Mason, Kutzle, Noel Zancanella, Muckala
  • Arrangement – Tedder, Muckala
  • Engineering – Tedder, Bunetta, Zancanella, Craig Durrance, Joe Zook, Rich Cooper, Damian Lewis, Jeff Rothschild, Alex Gibson, Richard Flack
  • Engineering assistants – Chris Kasych, Richard Woodcraft, Nicolas Esaig, Paul LaMalfa, Keith Armstrong, Nik Karpen
  • Vocal engineering – Seth Waldmann
  • Programming – Tedder, Rothschild, Dan Chase
  • Recording – Birgisson, Shellback, Rich Cooper, Andrew Hey, Ann Mincieli, Seth Waldmann, Neil Tucker, Joshua Berkman, Paul Foley
  • Vocal recording – Dabling Harward
  • Recording assistant – Christian Baker
  • Vocal recording assistants – David Boyd, Michael Daley
  • Choir arrangement – Lawrence Johnson
  • Strings arrangement – Stephen Hussey, Will Malone, Larry Gold
  • Strings conductor – Hussey
  • Drum programming – Tedder, Zancanella
  • MixingPhil Tan, Serban Ghenea, Manny Marroquin, Chris Lord-Alge, Jeremy Wheatley, Jean-Marie Horvat
  • Mixing engineers – John Hanes, Brad Townsend, Andrew Schubert
  • Mixing assistants – Tim Roberts, Christian Plata, Erik Madrid, Mimi Parker
  • Production coordination – Angela N. Golightly
  • Digital editing – Ron Taylor
  • Mastering – Vlado Meller
  • Pro-Tools editing – Lars Fox

Recording locations

  • Maratone Studios, Stockholm
  • Mason Sound, North Hollywood
  • Park Hill Studios, Denver
  • The Rabbit Hole, Calabasas
  • RAK Recording Studios, London
  • Sphere Studios, London
  • The Vault, Stockholm
  • Westlake Studios, Los Angeles

Charts, sales and procession

Echo made its first chart appearance on the Irish Albums Chart at number two.[87] In Belgium the album charted at 69 on the Flanders Album Chart and 67 on the Wallonia albums chart.[88] Echo debuted at Number 1 on the UK Album Charts on 22 November selling 161,000 copies and despite dropping to five the following week the album has since been certified double platinum in the UK. In its 8th week "Echo" fell out of the UK Top 40.[89] The album debuted at number 13 in the US with sales of 68,413,[90] but in the second week sales fell by 68% to just 21,431. Worldwide, it has sold over 1.2 million copies.[91]



Charts (2009) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[92] 31
Austrian Album Charts[93] 7
Belgian Albums Chart (Vl)[94] 52
Belgian Albums Chart (Wa)[94] 41
Canadian Albums Chart[95] 16
Dutch Albums Chart[94] 36
European Top 100 Albums[96] 4
French Albums Chart[94] 51
German Albums Chart[97] 12
Hungarian Albums Chart[98] 39
Irish Albums Chart[87] 2
Italian Albums Chart[99] 37
Mexican Albums Chart[100] 98
New Zealand Albums Chart[101] 26
Spanish Albums Chart[102] 16
Swedish Albums Chart[103] 19
Swiss Albums Chart[93] 3
UK Albums Chart[104] 1
UK R&B Albums Chart[105] 1
U.S. Billboard 200[90] 13

Sales and certifications

Country Providers Certification
(sales thresholds)
Canada CRIA Gold[106]
Switzerland IFPI Gold[107]
United Kingdom BPI 2x Platinum[108]

Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
UK Albums Chart number-one album
November 22, 2009
Succeeded by
I Dreamed a Dream by Susan Boyle

Release history

Region Date Format Label Catalogue
Philippines[109] 9 November 2009 CD Sony Music Entertainment 88697570012
Australia[110] 13 November 2009 CD, digital download 88697588222
Ireland[112] 88697570012
Italy[40] 88697588222
Netherlands[113] CD 0886975700127
Switzerland[114] Digital download, CD
(standard & deluxe)
Belgium[115] 16 November 2009
Czech Republic[109]
Hong Kong[118] CD 88697570012
Luxembourg[119] Digital download, CD
(standard & deluxe)
New Zealand[120]
Norway[121] 88697570012
Poland[122] 0886975882229
Portugal[123] 88697588222
Spain[124] Digital download (standard & deluxe)
United Kingdom[125][126] CD, digital download Syco Music 88697570012
United States[2] 17 November 2009 CD J Records 886975966028
Canada[127] Sony Music Entertainment 88697596602
Denmark[128] 18 November 2009 88697570012
Brazil[131] 23 November 2009 886975700127
Japan 25 November 2009 CD[132] Sony Music Japan SICP2465
CD + DVD[133] SICP2466


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