Ora (Rita Ora album)

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Ora
Studio album by Rita Ora
Released 27 August 2012 (2012-08-27)
Genre Pop, dance
Length 42:48
Label Roc Nation, Columbia
Producer The Runners, The Monarch, Stargate, Chase & Status, The-Dream, will.i.am, Major Lazer, Michael Linney, Brandon Linney, Fraser T Smith, Chris Loco, Daniel Stein, Wez Clarke, The Invisible Men, Greg Kurstin, Jules De Martino, Diplo
Singles from Ora
  1. "R.I.P."
    Released: 6 May 2012
  2. "How We Do (Party)"
    Released: 10 August 2012
  3. "Shine Ya Light"
    Released: 2 November 2012
  4. "Radioactive"
    Released: 8 February 2013

Ora is the debut studio album by British recording artist Rita Ora, released on 27 August 2012 through Roc Nation.[1][2] Ora enlisted a variety of producers such as The-Dream, Chase & Status, The Runners, Diplo, The Invisible Men and Stargate, and features guest appearances from Tinie Tempah, J. Cole and will.i.am. Musically, Ora is mainly a pop album that incorporates R&B and dance elements. Samples of the album's standard edition were made available to preview on the iTunes UK store on 9 August.[3]

Upon its release, Ora received generally mixed reviews from music critics. The album debuted at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart and was eventually certified platinum by the BPI.[4] It gained moderate success overseas, entering the top 25 in Australia and New Zealand. The album's release was preceded by two singles—"How We Do (Party)" and "R.I.P."—both of which entered the UK Singles Chart at number 1 and achieved standard chart positions in charts abroad.[4] The album also includes the number-one hit DJ Fresh collaboration, "Hot Right Now", which is featured as a bonus track. Ora was supported by the UK "Radioactive Tour" from January to February 2013.[5]

Background and development[edit]

Ora signed to American rapper Jay-Z's label, Roc Nation, in 2009.

In 2009, Ora signed to American record label, Roc Nation. After being signed, Ora recorded an album and wanted to release it, but her label advised against it and she started to work on another material for her debut album.[6] Ora spoke on the time spent on recording her debut album saying: "They [Roc Nation] gave me three years to do my album; two years to find myself and a year to record it."[7][8]

For the recording of the album, Ora enlisted the help of producers and writers such as will.i.am, Ester Dean, The-Dream, Stargate, The Runners, The Monarch, Stargate, Chase & Status, Greg Kurstin, Jules De Martino and Diplo.[9][10]

Ora described the album cover saying: "Everything was inspired basically by being bossy, by being independent, and by taking your own. We made sure that everything had character."[11] She explained the title of the album: "Ora is my surname, but it also means time in my country, Kosovo, in Albanian language, and it definitely took me a long time to get this album — three years to be exact."[12] On 22 July 2012, the official deluxe version album cover was revealed.[13]

Cancelled US edition[edit]

Ora said that the US edition of Ora will differ from the UK edition and that the US edition of the album would be like a second album. The album was set to have a release date in 2013, but has not been materialised.[14][15] Ora later explained that she had decided not to release Ora in the US, and that her second studio album will mark her US debut.[16]

Composition[edit]

When Ora spoke on the album she stated: "The crazy thing is I wanted the album to sound exactly like the subway, almost as if its just so free and raw."[17] When speaking about the sound of the album and its concept, Ora said the album "definitely has pop in it, but (...) you can hear influences of jazz in there, you can hear influences of Monica and Aaliyah, and then you can hear Gwen Stefani."[18] Ora described the sound of her album saying "I love No Doubt and Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen. It’s old school mixed with a pop kind of stream with a grit. It’s got attitude to it but it’s not ignorant. It’s just a cool f—ing album in my eyes."[19]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[20]
Bring the Noise 7/10[21]
Contactmusic.com 7/10[22]
The Digital Fix 6/10[23]
Digital Spy 3/5 stars[24]
Drowned in Sound 6/10[25]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[26]
musicOMH 3/5 stars[27]
The New Zealand Herald 3/5 stars[28]
Time Out 3/5 stars[29]

Ora has received mostly mixed reviews from music critics. At Allmusic, Fred Thomas alluded to how the album "manages to be more captivating than her peers by merit of her real approach to her songs, but sonically the album is somewhat interchangeable", but suggested that multiple listens make this release a "masterpiece of unrepentantly commercial pop".[20] Tamsyn Wilce of Bring the Noise suggested that the singer "stick with making the brilliant pop hits as seen in the first half of the album".[21] At Contactmusic.com, Dom Gourlay affirmed that the release "is still a worthy introduction to the world of arguably the UK's most credible and slightly left of centre pop star in years".[22] Digital Spy's Robert Copsey stated that "the culmination of 24 months of trend watching, market positioning and image primping on the resulting Ora does, more often than not, make it feel like a highly calculated exercise, but that doesn't mean she hasn't turned out some genuinely well-crafted songs".[24]

Holly Newins of The Digital Fix told that "is surprisingly convincing, especially with the dance hall influence that is blatant across the album", which she found that the listener will have songs that they will and will not be a fan of.[23] Furthermore, she said because Jay-Z's involvement that "the ratio of hits to misses doesn’t matter anyway", and that he will make sure Rita Ora "will be on your radio for a long time to come".[23] Drowned in Sound's Marcus J. Moore called the album "certainly catchy, and the maker is enthralling", yet the album lacks "any intricate rhythms here and the messages aren’t profound".[25] At The Guardian, Michael Cragg found that "there's just too much anonymity".[26] At The Independent, Andy Gill evoked that "the album does not give evidence Rita Ora is anything like Gwen Stefani, which she considers her influence, but rather a Rihanna coming from the United Kingdom".[30] Laurence Green of musicOMH vowed that "the defining feeling here is of something completely and utterly 'produced' – a factory line-up of the biggest names and beats in contemporary pop, machine tooled into something so sleek it’s in danger of slipping through the ether entirely".[27] Scott Kara of The New Zealand Herald told that on the release "she wears her influences on her sleeve".[28] At Time Out, Sharon O'Connell criticised the album because it contains "so little of Ora here", and suggested that "all Ora really gets to do is channel a sound now so ubiquitous it’s carpet-bombed our consciousness".[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

Ora debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 41,509 copies.[4][31] Throughout 2012, the album sold 242,500 copies, becoming the thirty-fifth best selling album of the year.[32] In 2013, the album was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for sales of 300,000 copies.

Singles[edit]

British rapper Tinie Tempah, was featured on the single "R.I.P."

"How We Do (Party)" was released as the album's lead single in North America, Australia and New Zealand on 20 March 2012. The song borrows lyrics from The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1993 single "Party and Bullshit". The single peaked at number 5 in New Zealand and at number 9 in Australia.[33] The song also reached number 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was released as the second single in the UK, on 12 August 2012, Ireland and the rest of Europe. The song reached number 1 in Ireland, becoming her first number-one single there. It also reached number 1 in the UK, becoming her third number one single (second as a solo artist) and making Ora the first artist in 2012 to score three number 1 singles on the UK charts.

"R.I.P.", featuring Tinie Tempah, was released as the lead single in Ireland on 4 May 2012, in the United Kingdom on 6 May 2012, and the rest of Europe.[34] Produced by Chase & Status, the song debuted at the top of the UK Singles Chart, becoming her first solo number-one single, and second overall.[35] It was released as the album's second single in New Zealand, Australia and North America.

"Shine Ya Light" was officially released as the third UK single on 4 November 2012.[36] It peaked at number ten in the UK Singles Chart, making it Ora's fourth top 10 UK single overall in 2012.[37] It also served as a third single in Ireland, where it peaked at number 25.

"Radioactive" was released as the fourth and last single from Ora in the UK on 11 February 2013. The song peaked at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart.

Promotional singles and other charting songs[edit]

"Roc the Life" was released in the United Kingdom on 23 July 2012 as a promotional single.[38] The official music video premiered on 17 September 2012. It features video footage of Ora on her UK tour filmed by her photographer/videographer Conor McDonnell.[citation needed]

A music video for "Facemelt" was directed by British photographer Rankin and it was released on Hunger TV on 30 April.[39]

Promotion[edit]

Live performances[edit]

In April, Ora sang a live acoustic version of "How We Do (Party)" on Wired 96.5 radio in Philadelphia.[40] In April 2012, Ora performed "How We Do (Party)" and "R.I.P." live while supporting Drake on his Club Paradise Tour in the UK.[41] Ora performed "R.I.P." live in studio for 4Music's show, The Crush, with a live band.[42] On 23 June 2012, Ora performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend, where she sang "Facemelt", "Roc the Life", "How We Do (Party)", "Shine Ya Light" and "R.I.P." Ora performed at various British music festivals in 2012, including Wireless Festival, T in the Park 2012 and V Festival. She performed "Shine Ya Light" on The X Factor on 4 November 2012.[43] On 18 August 2012, Ora performed at The Jonathan Ross Show. On 30 October 2012, she performed "R.I.P." on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Ora on the Radioactive Tour in Bournemouth

Radioactive Tour[edit]

On 3 November 2012, Ora announced that she would embark on her first UK tour in January and February 2013.[44]

Opening acts
Notes
  • Ora was joined by Tinie Tempah when performing "R.I.P." in London.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Facemelt"   James Fauntleroy II, Harley Justice Wertheimer, David Taylor Switch 1:33
2. "Roc the Life"   Rita Ora, Terius "The-Dream" Nash Nash 4:01
3. "How We Do (Party)"   Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson, Andre Davidson, Sean Davidson, Bonnie McKee, Kelly Sheehan, Hal Davis, Berry Gordy Jr., Osten Harvey Jr., Willie Hutch, Christopher Wallace, Bob West The Runners, The Monarch[a], Kuk Harrell[b], Sheehan[b] 4:07
4. "R.I.P." (featuring Tinie Tempah) Aubrey "Drake" Graham, Renee "Shi" Wisdom, Saul Milton, William Kennard, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, Nneka Egbuna, Farhad Samadzada Chase & Status, Stargate 3:48
5. "Radioactive"   Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler Kurstin, Furler[b] 4:11
6. "Shine Ya Light"   Fraser T Smith, LP, Chris Loco Smith, Loco, Nikki Flores[b] 3:30
7. "Love and War" (featuring J. Cole) Ester Dean, Eriksen, Hermansen, Jermaine Cole Stargate, David "DQ" Quiñones[b] 3:35
8. "Uneasy"   Jules De Martino, Katie White, Ora, Makeba Riddick De Martino, Stargate[c], Shea Taylor[a], Andrea Martin[b] 3:02
9. "Fall in Love" (featuring will.i.am) William Adams, Alexis Latrobe will.i.am 4:13
10. "Been Lying"   Ora, Rachel Rabin, Edwin Serrano, Michael Linney, Brandon Linney M. Linney, B. Linney, Lil Eddie[b], Rabin[b] 3:44
11. "Hello, Hi, Goodbye"   Nash, Taylor, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Ariel Rechtshaid Switch, Diplo[a], Martin[b] 3:58
12. "Hot Right Now" (DJ Fresh featuring Rita Ora) (bonus track) Dan Stein, The Invisible Men DJ Fresh, The Invisible Men[b] 3:02
Total length:
42:48
Notes
  • Track listing and credits from album booklet.
  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[b] signifies a vocal producer
  • ^[c] signifies a co-producer
  • "Facemelt" is originally "Brap" written and performed by Bart B More with original vocals performed by Rita Ora.
  • "R.I.P." embodies portions of "Heartbeat" written by N. Egbuna and F. Samadzada and performed by Nneka.
  • "Fall in Love" embodies portions of "Handguns (Dada Life Remix)" written by Alexis Latrobe.

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Edition
Ireland[64] 24 August 2012 CD, digital download Roc Nation Standard, deluxe
United Kingdom[47] 27 August 2012
Australia[65] 15 September 2012 Standard
Germany 19 October 2012 Standard, deluxe
Dominican Republic Standard
Malaysia 6 November 2012 Standard
Portugal[66] 21 January 2013 Standard

References[edit]

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