In 2009, a blonde beauty was seen in company with Jay-Z and the rest of the Roc Nation family. A little sooner we came to know this UK-native as Rita Ora. As time passed we saw a little less of Ora but heard more of her talent. Her scene dimmed for a bit until the beginning of 2012 when she garnered some attention with her collaboration with DJ Fresh: “Hot Right Now.” Roc Nation jumped quickly to catch the steam and hence came the release of Rita Ora’s debut album titled ‘ORA.’
Preceded by singles “How We Do (Party),” “R.I.P.” featuring Tinie Tempah and “Roc’ the Life,” ORA runs fifteen songs (Deluxe Edition) deep and… ORA is an album full of b-sides. ORA should have been an album from a talented artist but instead is album that comes off as rushed with very little effort or enthusiasm. Based on the Youtube videos Rita Ora is an artist with genuine vocal talent that loves Jamaican dancehall but based on this album she is a Pop act trying to fit in by grabbing all the leftovers she can.
ORA is a perfect of example of when using top producers and writers fails. The likes of Diplo, The-Dream, The Runners, Stargate, will.i.am, etc… did nothing for this debut but then again the producers did not specially and specifically craft music for the singer.
To be fair, there are some enjoyable moments on the album. “Radioactive,” “Shine Ya Light” and “Hi, Hello, Goodbye” are all decent Pop songs and are worth more than two listens. Although these songs will be forgotten before the year is out, play these through a superb sound system and you will agree that they are sonically good looking, if that makes sense.
All in all, ORA is a let down, an album we all can live without. It’s not sad, a little of a disappointment as Rita Ora has the look, the personality and the bloody talent. Unfortunately she was not treated with the caring hands she deserved to be carried with. We will stay on the side of optimism and hope that Rita Ora moves forward on an upward slope.