At last, Leona Lewis fans have something to enjoy besides the feel of cotton — “I Know Who I Am,” the singer’s contribution to the soundtrack for For Colored Girls, has found its way online. Given the enormous popularity of Tyler Perry’s movies, the track is sure to reach ears of both genders and all hues. But does Lewis’ gospel-style number deliver? Listen here and decide.
Fans may recall that Leona Lewis recently lent her pipes to a film about people of an entirely different color with James Cameron’s Avatar, and also collaborated with Jennifer Hudson on Sex And The City 2’s “Love Is Your Color”. Is she vying for Queen of the Soundtracks or what?
“I Know Who I Am” is perfectly lovely, if not particularly striking, with Lewis delivering a competent vocal performance. It touches on typical gospel themes of strength, pride, and overcoming adversity to reach a place of enlightenment. One can imagine it being more emotionally stirring in the context of the movie, which is a poetic ensemble drama (based on a play) about women facing race-specific turmoil in their lives. It stars the venerable likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Kerry Washington, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, and a lovely-but-stern-looking Janet Jackson and looks to be Perry’s most dramatic and artful film yet — surely finding artists willing to contribute to the soundtrack was no Herculean effort.[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/leona-lewis-i-know-who-i-am.mp3" text="Leona Lewis - I Know Who I Am" dl="0"]
So, of all the many talented artists out there — some featured in this very movie — Lewis seems like a slightly strange choice to deliver the gospel stylings. While she does a fine job, she doesn’t really deliver the powerhouse vocals we can imagine coming from someone more familiar with this musical genre. Instead, this sounds like a B-side from a Mariah Carey album released a couple decades ago.
The For Colored Girls soundtrack, due November 2, also features tracks from Janelle Monae, Estelle, Macy Gray, Gladys Knight, and Nina Simone, amongst others. With that lineup, we imagine one of these artists will deliver something a little more soulful.