‘The Voice UK’ review: Kevin Simm, Lyrickal, Jolan, and Heather Cameron-Hayes perform

VoiceTonight, “The Voice UK” is bringing us the semifinals, and as a result of that we’re going to see the British public for the first time in COMPLETE control of how everything is going to go. The coaches no longer have any power.

We’re going to focus in this article on all of the solo performances, mostly because the coach duets are usually wonky and we don’t really care about many of them anyway.

Kevin Simm, “Rolling in the Deep” – One of the better performances that we’ve had a chance to hear from Kevin, and now that we’re not hearing this Adele song every five minutes, we really enjoy it. It’s deceptively hard though, since there is that driving tempo plus the intensity of the lyrics and the vocal theatrics it requires. He strained a little at the end, but we’d say above all it was a worthy start.

Lyrickal, “See You Again” – Like with Kevin, we do think that Lyrickal could have benefited from a little bit of restraint. However, what makes him such compelling entertainment is that he injects so much of himself and his heart into these performances. We really like him as a person, and that does go a long way in this competition.

Heather Cameron-Hayes, “Sorry” – Other than some enunciation issues at the beginning of the song, Heather was almost pitch-perfect. The problem is that this performance was a victim of ballad-ization. What makes the Justin Bieber version so strong is that there is an air of playfulness to it. It’s clever and energetic. With the lyrics being what they are for the song, this version just felt dreary and sad.

Cody Frost, “The Chain” – A significant improvement on last week, and while we’d love to see her doing something with a little more energy behind it, this was a really solid performance that was an accurate portrayal of who Cody wants to be as an artist.

Lydia Lucy, “I’ll Be There” – This was really nice, and we liked it because we thought Lydia actually sang it pretty straight and let Will’s impressive re-arrangement differentiate it somewhat from the original. It was passionate, but at the same time sweet.

Jordan Gray, “Dancing in the Dark” – What we love about what Jordan is doing on the show right now is that she’s almost doing what she can to move away from the whole “you must perform a ballad” trope. This was really fun, and you could still sense passion in her vocals.

Vangelis, “Beautiful” – Vocally, there wasn’t really any problem with what he did up on the stage tonight. The biggest probably that we had with it was strictly that there was not a whole lot that it brought to the table we’d consider new. In some shape or form, we’ve heard much of this before.

Jolan, “Purple Rain” – It’s impressive that Prince cleared this song for one; also, it’s awesome that Jolan went for it. He could have done even more physically than he did if he wanted to make the largest impression possible on us, but it’s hard to really fault him for what was by and large a really excellent, vocally-taxing performance.

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