• Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: Apr 29, 2008
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 80
    Shine justifies John Legend's signing of her to his Homeschool label and finding producers she could inspire. [Mar 2008, p.112]
  2. Compared to the admittedly prodigious vocals of Duffy and Adele, this feels like the real deal.
  3. The Londoner has constructed something lovable in Shine.
  4. Don't be fooled into thinking it's the big American names that are carrying this record, because her lyrical wit, seductive soul vocals and Brit charm offensive prove she is strong enough to punch above her weight.
  5. It’s a fairly light album and doesn’t do anything new musically, but it’s solid; you don’t feel like it needs to be anything else.
  6. Her second act is ceaselessly enjoyable, one of the finer R&B albums to be released in 2008.
  7. Estelle Swaray is something of a novelty. Not because of her reference points, which range from classic hip-hop to lovers’ rock reggae to 1980s pop, and not because she raps even better than she sings, effortlessly switching between the two.
  8. London-bred singer Estelle's stateside debut, Shine, is heaving with catchy, instantly likable hip-hop/R&B/ pop songs produced by the likes of Will.i.am, Wyclef Jean and Mark Ronson, to list a few, and featuring Kanye West and Cee-Lo, among others.
  9. On her American debut, this former U.K. record store clerk boasts an all star cast: executive producer John Legend, Will.i.am, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West and Cee—Lo, who duets on the Philly soul "Pretty Please (Love Me)." But those Yanks don't dilute Shine's regional feel--this West London homegirl's perspective is etched in her husky singing, fleet-tongued rapping and wised-up lyrics.
  10. Equally adept at slinging sharp rhymes and jazzy crooning, Estelle has a sweet sense of cool and charm.
  11. Estelle turns Shine into a durable debut, pleasant and shrewd.
  12. Though she transforms her preferred vocal delivery from a rough street-slang dialect to full-on harmonizing on her new album, Estelle fortunately avoids this condition on most of Shine, though her all-star production staff occasionally allows her split personality layering and superstar guests to crisscross, clutter, and exhaust the mix, particularly on “In the Rain.”
  13. Shine's lingering impression is that of several talented cooks crammed into a tiny kitchen, each crafting something delicious with little regard for the meal as a whole.
  14. As standout lead single 'American Boy' (on which she raps with West) shows, this could be one of the most unlikely comebacks of 2008.
  15. Mostly it's quality urban pop that achieves its goal, but by sacrificing her personality. [Apr 2008, p.107]
  16. Unfortunately, these effervescent uptempo tracks give way to same-y filler including 'Back In Love' and 'In the Rain,' but songs like 'Pretty Please (Love Me)' are sure to appeal to fans of retro-revisionists Amy Winehouse, Duffy, and even Gnarls Barkley.
  17. Shine remains a terribly average r'n'b album that occasionally flickers with possibility, but never burns brightly enough to matter.
  18. 40
    Despite the starry cameos and production turns, Shine lacks a little lustre. [May 2008, p.94]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. RobinsonM.
    Jul 16, 2009
    10
    A great pop album that never will lose the fresh. My favorite are the tracks produced by will.i.am, definitely the biggest producer of nowadays.
  2. PaulC
    May 2, 2008
    8
    One of the best R&B albums I've heard in a while. My only complaint is that while "American Boy" is a hot track, some of the other One of the best R&B albums I've heard in a while. My only complaint is that while "American Boy" is a hot track, some of the other tracks near it, but not enough. This album is far from perfect, but should've scored higher in my opinion. Full Review »