If good things come to those who wait, then U.K. singer-songwriter Becky Hill is due for something pretty special. The Bewdley-born singer first surfaced on the U.K. edition of “The Voice” in 2012, joining fellow pop star Jessie J’s team before ultimately being eliminated in the semifinal round. Hill’s trajectory from there has been a slow but steady march up the ranks. The next decade was marked with successes, top-10 singles and high profile collaborations. In 2019 and ’20, she was the second-most-streamed female solo artist on Spotify in the U.K. She’d never released an album, though.
Hill wrote or co-wrote every track on Only Honest On The Weekend, as well as getting a helping hand from 220 Kid, Banx & Ranx, and David Guetta. While it may be Hill’s debut, the artist is no rookie, as evidenced by the expertly crafted record.
The pop diva room can often be a crowded, but Hill manages to lightly add to those who’ve influenced her while presenting a vocal persona all her own. Fans of Dua Lipa will find much to like with Becky Hill. There’s even a quality of the singer’s former mentor Jessie J in her vocals. Mix in the occasional rawness of P!nk and you’ll find Hill.
“Maybe I’m biased/ But I’d take on Goliath / If he ever said shit about you,” Hill sings in the first moments of the opening track, “I Got You.” It’s defiant, uplifting, bouncy, synth-laden and very Katy-Perry-esque. “The Last Time” mixes late ’80s or early ’90s synths before the pulsing rhythm drives into the chorus. Hill pushes her voice into her impressive high range, breaking slightly at the highest notes.
“Make It Hard to Love You” begins as a bouncy mid-tempo track before evolving into a full-on pulsing dance floor anthem. Hill sings of trying to break through in a relationship. On the flip side, “Better Off Without You” looks at the loneliness of a broken relationship. Structurally, the song hits a similar tone—starting in one place before escalating to a big anthemic track. Hill found success with her Guetta collaboration “Remember,” an instantly memorable dance track that hit hard.
The first ballad arrives in the form of the strong “Perfect People,” which shows off a different side of Hill’s voice. Not until the final moments does the backbeat kick in to take the song home. The dance floor anthems return with “My Heart Goes (LaDiDa),” an absolutely terrific track that’s the closest Hill comes to echoing Dua Lipa’s deep delivery. “Could Be My Somebody” taps back into some ’90s influences with a dark attitude.
“Business,” a duet with Ella Eyre, has a rock and roll swagger. Becky Hill taps into a vocal prowess that rises to the level of Jessie J’s powerhouse pop. The two-minute “Waiting or Looking” comes and goes quickly, with a trippy and choppy synth vibe. Rather than an interlude, it’s a full-fledged song that quickly makes its point and goes about its, well, business.
Soaring ballad “Distance” strips back many of the production bells and whistles and allows Hill’s vocal to grab the spotlight. The subject is certainly relevant in pandemic times. The punchy acoustic kiss-off cut “Lessons” begins to turn the pace back up, while the beat weighs heavy on “Heaven on My Mind,” which resurrects the club energy from earlier in the record. Hill closes the album out with a pair of upbeat and uplifting tracks I n “Is Anybody There” and “Through The Night.”
Only Honest On The Weekend provides a faithful and successful entry point for new fans. After finding success in the U.K., Hill should find a broader U.S. audience very soon.
Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.