Is Leona Lewis really music's next big thing? |

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Is Leona Lewis really music's next big thing?

There’s been deafening Internet buzz surrounding the upcoming U.S. release of Leona Lewis’ debut CD; after all, the winner of Britain’s X-Factor has Clive Davis and Simon Cowell in her corner, and she’s already a star in Europe. Heck, EW named her one of its Eight New Faces to Watch in ‘08 a few weeks back, and she gets a shout-out from Good Luck Chuck’s music supervisor in this week’s issue.

Now, however, the American marketplace is getting its chance to vote yes or no in the matter of Leona Lewis. This week’s Billboard announces the official release of her first single, “Bleeding Love,” and while her label seems to have put the kibosh on any embeddable versions of the accompanying video, you can give the track a listen (with fan-made karaoke prompts) below.

To me, there’s something slightly old-school — and by old-school, I mean circa 2001, and not necessarily in a bad way — about “Bleeding Love.” The urgent organ, the driving melody, the general lack of blips, bleeps, and sing-speak spelling lessons recall a simpler time when radio wasn’t so afraid of songs that sounded like, well, songs. And while I can see why Lewis has drawn comparisons to Mariah Carey, Lewis seems less obsessed with abandoning melody and climbing Mount Melisma. That said, I’m not sure “Bleeding Love” is ever going to crack the top 100 Most Played tracks on my iPod. I mean, it’s a pretty little ditty, but it’s missing that extra little bit of musical nougat (sorry, haven’t had lunch yet), the emotional wallop of, say, “We Belong Together” or “Irreplaceable.” What say you, PopWatchers? What’s your prediction for the future of “Bleeding Love,” and for Lewis herself?

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