Forgive Me (Leona Lewis song)

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"Forgive Me"
The image features a black-haired woman sitting in front of a black background. She is wearing a short dress and bracelets on her right wrist. In front of her, the words "Forgive Me" in pink cursive letters appear while below those words, "Leona Lewis" is written in white capital letters.
Single by Leona Lewis
from the album Spirit
B-side "Myself"
Released 8 September 2008 (2008-09-08)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2008, Doppler Studios (Atlanta, Georgia); Henson Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California)
Genre R&B, dance-pop, soul
Length 3:43
Label Sony BMG, Syco, J
Writer(s) Aliaune Thiam, Claude Kelly, Giorgio Tuinfort
Producer(s) Akon
Leona Lewis singles chronology
"Better in Time"/"Footprints in the Sand"
(2008)
"Forgive Me"
(2008)
"Run"
(2008)
Spirit track listing
Music video
"Forgive Me" on YouTube

"Forgive Me" is a song by British singer Leona Lewis featured on the North American version and on the international deluxe edition of her debut album Spirit (2008). It was released as the fourth single of the album in the United Kingdom on 3 November 2008. The song was written by Aliaune "Akon" Thiam, Claude Kelly and Giorgio Tuinfort, and produced by the former. Musically, "Forgive Me" is a R&B, dance-pop and soul track written in A minor. Its lyrics address a girl who has found a new love and asks her old love for forgiveness.

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, however some of them criticised Lewis's voice for being very similar those of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey voice. Lewis has performed it on some television shows, such as GMTV and The National Lottery Live. The music video—inspired by Broadway musicals, including Carousel and West Side Story—was released in September 2008. It also features the Jabbawockeez dance crew. "Forgive Me" reached number five on the British and Irish charts, thus making it Lewis's fourth single to peak within the top ten in the UK. It peaked atop the Slovakia singles chart and reached the top ten in Italy and Sweden. Lewis performed the song during her tour The Labyrinth.

Background and composition[edit]

"Forgive Me" was written by Claude Kelly, Giorgio Tuinfort and Aliaune Thiam, and produced by the latter.[1] The single was pressed with one B-side, "Myself",[2] written by Justin E. Boykin, Graham N. Marsh, Lewis and Alonzo Stevenson.[3]

"Forgive Me" sheet music.
"Forgive Me" is written in the key of A minor.

"Forgive Me" is an R&B, soul and dance-pop song written in A minor.[4][5] It moves at 120 beats per minute and is set in common time.[4][5] On it, Lewis performs her highest pitch (G5) in falsetto during the final chorus, and her lowest pitch (A3) during each verse.[4][5] The song refers to a protagonist in a one-sided relationship who leaves her boyfriend and eventually finds someone to reciprocate her love. Though she has found love from someone else, she defends herself and asks her ex-boyfriend for forgiveness.[6] In an interview with Digital Spy, Lewis explained why she decided in change the musical genre of her previous singles, from contemporary R&B to dance-pop. She said: "I wanted to do something a bit different and the chance to work with Akon came about. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out and it's great that it's different, rather than what I always do."[7] There are two versions of the song, the "album version" (3:41) and the "single mix" (3:25), which was used in the music video. The album version repeats the bridge two times,[3][8]

Release and promotion[edit]

A woman with blond hair is smiling. She is wearing a blue dress and holding a microphone. Behind her a man and a woman are seen.
Lewis performing "Forgive Me" during the tour The Labyrinth

The single cover was released on 17 September 2008,[9] whilst the song was released in the UK on 3 November 2008 as the fourth single.[10] Originally, the song was featured only in the North American version of the album Spirit, launched in 2008.[11] Despite this, it was not released as a single in the region. Later, "Forgive Me" was added in the deluxe edition of the album, which was released internationally in the same year.[12]

Lewis performed the song on the television programmes The National Lottery Live on 29 October 2008,[13] and GMTV on 31 October 2008.[14] Outside of the UK, she also performed the song on the Italian television show Carramba Che Sorpresa and on the Swedish talent show Idol.[15][16][17] In May 2010, the song was added to the setlist of her tour The Labyrinth, performed as the eighth song of the show.[18] A live performance from The O2 Arena was included on the live album's DVD The Labyrinth Tour Live from The O2.[18][19] In 2013, Lewis added "Forgive Me" to the setlist of her Glassheart Tour.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

"Forgive Me" received generally positive reviews from music critics. The BBC review of the single called "Forgive Me" a "danceable funky pop song".[6] Gavin Martin of The Mirror said, "[the song] showcases her voice of fire and honey. No apologies necessary".[21] Nick Levine, Digital Spy music critic, gave the song three out of five stars, comparing it with Whitney Houston's song "I'm Your Baby Tonight" saying that after her previous three ballad singles, "it's a nice change". However, he also said, "the adultery-themed lyrics are a poor match for the sweet, unassuming Hackney girl".[22] Chad Grischow noted that with the song Lewis "will not go down as a glorified one-hit wonder".[23] Stephen Thomas Erlewine described "Forgive Me", and another song ("Misses Glass") from the album as "just slightly glitzier than the rest of Spirit."[24] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine called the single 'bouncy and youthful'.[25] The New York Times criticised Lewis for being "a second-tier Mariah" on the song.[26]

Chart performance[edit]

"Forgive Me" debuted and peaked at number five in the United Kingdom on 15 November 2008,[27] becoming Lewis's third single in debut within the top ten, after "A Moment Like This" and "Bleeding Love".[28] In Ireland, before its official release as a single, it was the second highest debut of the week of the Irish Singles Chart, at number five.[29] In the Slovak Airplay Chart, it debuted at number seventy-six and in its tenth week the song peaked at number one.[30] Also, in the European Singles Chart the song reached the number 11.[31] In Italy, "Forgive Me" debuted at number nine, but fell off the chart next week.[32] Elsewhere in Europe, the song reached number seven in Sweden,[33] twelve in Switzerland,[34] and fifteen in both Austria[35] and Germany.[36] The song entered the Australian charts at number fifty on 19 October 2008,[37][38] and next week peaked at forty-nine.[39] Later, "Forgive Me" dropped out of the chart, but on 10 November 2009, it re-entered at number fifty.[40] In the 2008 UK year-end chart, compiling the best-selling singles of the year, "Forgive Me" was eighty-fifth.[41]

Music video[edit]

A faraway image of a woman and many men. She wears a pink raincoat with black leggings. The men wear black clothes and each carry an umbrella. Behind them can be seen a theatre, on the marquee is written "Forgive Me" in black capital letters. Also, it is raining.
Lewis performing in the "Singin' in the Rain"-inspired scene in the music video for "Forgive Me".

The music video for the song was filmed in May 2008 and directed by Wayne Isham.[42] It premiered on 16 September 2008.[43][unreliable source?] It starts out with Lewis receiving a text message from her boyfriend saying he is just a minute away from meeting up with her. The video then turns into a dream-like sequence with Lewis dancing in four set-ups inspired by the Hollywood musicals West Side Story, The Rocky Horror Show, Singin' in the Rain and Carousel.[44] The video ends with Lewis coming back to reality after a drop of rain lands on her hand and her boyfriend sent a message saying "Hurry! Looks like there could be rain". The Jabbawockeez dance crew also make an appearance in the Rocky Horror scene in the video, dancing behind Lewis.[43]

Track listing and formats[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
Mexico[60] 8 September 2008 Sony BMG Digital download
Japan[48] 10 September 2008 BMG Japan
Germany[45] 31 October 2008 Sony BMG CD single
Switzerland[46] Maxi single
Australia[61] 1 November 2008 CD single, digital download
Ireland[50] 3 November 2008 Syco Music
Italy[47] Airplay, digital download, CD maxi
United Kingdom[10][50] CD single, digital download

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spirit (North American version) (Compact Disc). Leona Lewis. Los Angeles; Atlanta, Georgia: Sony BMG, J Records, Syco. 2008. p. 9. 8 86970 25542 4. 
  2. ^ "Forgive Me". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Forgive Me (Compact Disc). Leona Lewis. Los Angeles; Atlanta, Georgia: Sony BMG, J Records, Syco. 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Sheet music for "Forgive Me". Sony BMG Music Entertainment Publishing (2008).
  5. ^ a b c Lewis 2008
  6. ^ a b "Single review: Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". BBC. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Fletcher, Alex (7 November 2008). "Music – Interview – Leona Lewis". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Spirit (North American version) (Compact Disc). Leona Lewis. Los Angeles; Atlanta, Georgia: Sony BMG, J Records, Syco. 2008. p. 5. 8 86970 25542 4. 
  9. ^ "Sneak Preview of 'Forgive Me' Single Cover". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "'Forgive Me out today!". Leona Lewis Official Webpage. Sony Music Entertainment. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Spirit – Leona Lewis" (in Spanish). iTunes Store (Mexico). Apple Inc. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Release dates". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  13. ^ The National Lottery Draws. 29 October 2008. BBC. BBC One.
  14. ^ "Leona performs". GMTV. ITV. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  15. ^ "Leona Lewis Forgive Me Live Carràmba Che Fortuna – Italy Dec 2008 with Raffaella Carrà" (in Italian). December 2008.
  16. ^ "Leona canta a Carramba Che Fortuna" (in Italian). R&B Junk. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  17. ^ "Swedish Idol 2008". Idol. TV4.
  18. ^ a b "The Labyrinth Live Tour DVD". Leona Lewis Official Website. Sony Music Entertainment. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "The Labyrinth Tour: Live At The O2 [Blu-ray] [2010]". Amazon United Kingdom. Amazon Inc. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  20. ^ Corner, Lewis (17 April 2013). "Leona Lewis begins 'Glassheart' tour in Germany – pictures". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Martin, Gavin. "Leona Lewis – Forgive Me review". The Mirror TV. The Mirror. Retrieved 31 October 2008. 
  22. ^ Levine, Nick. "Leona Lewis Forgive Me review". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 31 October 2008. 
  23. ^ Grischow, Chad (23 April 2008). "Leona Lewis – Spirit – Review". IGN Entertainment. IGN. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  24. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "allmusic Spirit – Leona Lewis". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "Leona Lewis: Spirit". Slant Magazine. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "New CDs". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  27. ^ a b "Leona Lewis: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  28. ^ "Chart Stats – Leona Lewis". Chart Stats. The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  29. ^ "Ireland Singles Top 50 (23 October 2008)". αCharts. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  30. ^ a b "Radio Top 100 Oficiální Slovak Republic". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Forgive Me – Leona Lewis". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  32. ^ "Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  33. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  34. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  35. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  36. ^ a b "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  37. ^ "Australian Singles Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  38. ^ "Australia Singles Top 50". αCharts. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  39. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  40. ^ "Australia Singles Top 50". αCharts. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  41. ^ a b "2008". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  42. ^ "Leona Lewis – Spirit (The Deluxe Edition)". Discogs. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  43. ^ a b "Video Premiere: Leona Lewis' 'Forgive Me'". AceShowBiz. 16 September 2010. 
  44. ^ "Leona rounds off an amazing year:". BBC. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  45. ^ a b "Forgive Me (Basic Single)". Amazon Germany. Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  46. ^ a b "Forgive me – 2track". CeDe. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  47. ^ a b "Forgive Me – Single". The iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  48. ^ a b "Forgive Me". The iTunes Store (Japan). Apple Inc. Retrieved 7 December 2008. 
  49. ^ a b "Forgive Me Traklisting". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  50. ^ a b c "Forgive Me (Single)". Amazon Ireland. Amazon.com Inc. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  51. ^ "Ultratop.be – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  52. ^ "Radio Top100 Oficiální – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me – Czech Republic". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  53. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". Tracklisten. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  54. ^ "Leona Lewis Album & Song Chart History" European Hot 100 for Leona Lewis. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  55. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  56. ^ "Chart Track: Week 43, 2008". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  57. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Leona Lewis – Forgive Me". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  58. ^ "Leona Lewis Album & Song Chart History" Japan Hot 100 for Leona Lewis. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  59. ^ "Éves összesített listák – MAHASZ Rádiós TOP 100 (súlyozott)". Mahasz. 
  60. ^ "Forgive Me (Single Mix) – Single" (in Spanish). The iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  61. ^ "Forgive Me". Sony Music Australia. Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]