Although she won the third season of Simon Cowell’s British TV talent competition “The X Factor,” Leona Lewis doesn’t actually stand out much on her debut. In fact, if you blank for a moment on who you’re listening to, it may take a minute to remember that it’s Lewis. She sounds very much like plenty of other latter-day R&B divas: There’s a little Mariah Carey, a bit of Christina Aguilera, maybe some Alicia Keys, even a hint of Whitney Houston.
What there’s not is a lot of originality.
That’s not to say “Spirit” (J Records) isn’t at times a beautiful record. The production is lush, the songs are well-written and Lewis can certainly sing. It’s just a boring record that hews too closely to the modern album template with a couple of hits and a bunch of filler.