Following the fall release of "Collide," Leona Lewis's first dance pop single, fans were expecting a November release of her third album, Glassheart. Perhaps because of the underwhelming response to "Collide" (it debuted at #4, but suffered a swift descent out of the top 40 a month later), retooling was in order.
So fans have to settle instead for a three-song EP of covers. But really, they're hardly settling, for "Hurt" is quite amazing. This is as mesmerizing a cover as her take on Snow Patrol's, "Run," perhaps better even.
"Hurt" was originally released in the spring of 1995 to promote Nine Inch Nails' first full-length album, The Downward Spiral. It was the album's second-biggest hit after "Closer." "Hurt" was famously covered in 2002 by Johnny Cash, his last single released before his death in 2003.
Lewis's version nicely references both the original as well as the Cash remake. The backing arrangement is spot-on, a building storm of guitar and piano that is more in keeping with the Cash version but also nicely references the dissonant melody of the Nine Inch Nails original that Cash's remake didn't. Oh, and she sounds really great on it too, nicely resisting the urge to oversing what is both a fragile and very angry song. She holds herself in and cuts loose appropriately at the second chorus and bridge.
Her performance on X Factor looks to have ensured this a top 5 placement on the UK singles chart this weekend. She's apparently also set to perform this on the US X Factor finale later this month.