Our Top 10 Leela James Songs list looks at an r&b singer and songwriter. She is known for her raspy voice. She is influenced by Etta James, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Toni Braxton, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Mavis Staples as well as others. Some of her hits include “Don’t Want You Back,” “Complicated,” “Set Me Free,” “Fall for You,” “Say That” as well as others. She was able to achieve success in the r&b music industry along with artists like Ledisi, Angie Stone, Lalah Hathaway, Ella Mai, Jill Scott, H.E.R., Rihanna, Beyonce, India Arie, Chrisette Michele, Floetry, Anthony Hamilton, Maxwell, Kem, Raheem DeVaughn as well as others.
Aleicha Janeice Campbell was born May 22, 1983. She got her start in the music business when she sang on the soundtrack to Jamie Foxx’s movie Bait. She sang “Work” featuring The Roots. In 2004, she was the opening act for the group Black Eyed Peas as well as Macy Gray. She appeared on DJ and Pete Rock’s album Soul Survivor II in 2004. Leelah James sang a track on Ray Charles’ album Genius & Friends. She sang a song with the legendary singer. One thing led to another, and she started her career as a solo artist.
A Change Is Gonna Come came out in 2005. The album peaked at number 42 on the r&b charts and number 148 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Music,” “My Joy” and “Don’t Speak.” Let’s Do It Again came out in 2009. The album peaked at number 11 on the r&b charts and number 84 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album is a collection of cover songs. My Soul was released in 2010. The album peaked at number seven on the r&b charts and number 37 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Mr. Incredible-Ms. Unforgettable,” “The Fact Is,” “Tell Me You Love Me” and “It’s Over.”
Loving You More…In the Spirit of Etta James was released in 2012. The album peaked at number 44 on the r&b charts. It features the singles “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” “I’d Rather Go Blind” and “At Last.” Fall for You was released in 2014. The album peaked at number 12 on the r&b charts and number 69 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Say That,” “Fall for You,” “Set Me Free” and “Stay with Me.” Did It for Love was released in 2017. The album peaked at number 30 on the r&b charts and number 72 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album features the singles “Don’t Want You Back,” “All Over Again,” “I Remember,” “Don’t Mean a Thing” and “This Day Is for You.” See Me came out in 2021. The album features the singles “Complicated,” “Put It on Me” and “You’re the One.”
Leela James is an underrated artist. She proves she can do a lot with her voice. She doesn’t have to be a soprano vocalist to have vocal range. She can keep up with her competitors in the music business. She doesn’t record standard music. She wants her music to stand out among the pack. Our Top 10 Leela James Songs list will feature her best songs.
#10 – Tell Me You Love Me
The first song on our Top 10 Leela James Songs list is “Tell Me You Love Me” from the album My Soul. The song has an r&b beat. The bitter song is about a woman who questions why she fell for the man she loves. She wants him to open up to her and tell her that he loves her. He keeps his feelings bottled up, and she wants him to tell her the truth. She wants him to stay with her because she thinks about him all the time. She doesn’t like how she misses him while he’s gone, but she needs him. She wants him to express himself. The singer insists that he tell her everything.
Most of us have felt this way about people in our lives. We want them to tell us how they feel. We don’t want them to keep their feelings to themselves especially if we’re showing them love. Leela James captures the feeling eloquently. The music gives old school vibes. She used The Manhattans’ song “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” for the sample for this track. The sample makes the song seem like a classic jam. The song will have you up and moving around. Leela James sounds like a mix between Betty Wright, Angela Winbush and Lauryn Hill. She has a pretty tone to her voice. She has an old soul. She has an alto voice, but she can push herself to sing in a higher octave when the song calls for it.
# 9 – Don’t Speak
The next song on our Top 10 Leela James Songs list is “Don’t Speak” from the album A Change Is Gonna Come. The song has a neo-soul sound. The regretful song is about her talking to her boyfriend about their relationship and how it was real to her. She thinks it’s a shame that it didn’t last. She doesn’t want him to explain what happened because it hurts her to think about the relationship not working out. She doesn’t want to hear his explanation about why it didn’t work. She is hurt because the relationship ended. If the song sounds familiar to you, it was recorded by another popular music act.
“Don’t Speak” is a track that was recorded by No Doubt. The band No Doubt made this song popular. Leela James took a chance recording a track that’s linked to an artist. “Don’t Speak” is one of No Doubt’s most popular songs. Leela James put her own spin on this track. As most of you know, No Doubt’s version is an alternative rock song, but Leela James changed the melody. She recorded a neo-soul version. This could have been a disaster because fans are familiar with No Doubt’s version. If you give it a chance, you might enjoy it.
The song has a breezy vibe to it. The song has an acoustic sound. Leela James does her best to make this song her own. She includes ad-libs that weren’t in the original. She holds an impressive note that Gwen Stefani didn’t hold in the original version. Leela James includes harmonies that aren’t in the original version too. You won’t forget the original version of the song, but Leela James’ version is worth a listen.
# 8 – Say That ft. Anthony Hamilton
The longing song is from the album Fall for You. The song has a neo-soul beat. The stirring song is about a woman who needs reassurance that her man loves her. She wants him to admit that he wants her and wants to be with her. He gives her the response she wants. He lets her know that he will be the man she wants. This story takes us on a journey of love, heartbreak, and back to love. Love has different emotions and this song touches all of them. This is a ride that we will want to get on and not want to get off.
This is the lead single for Fall for You and she couldn’t have made a better choice to introduce us to her sound. “Say That” has a strong beat that will get the party going. The song has an old-school vibe to it. It doesn’t sound like computer programming. The beat sounds like genuine music. Leela James and Anthony Hamilton sound refreshing and breathtaking on this song. They should work together on more songs. They get the chance to showcase their gritty styles on this song. She is his female equivalent when it concerns music. He is her male equivalent so it makes sense that they worked together. Their voices blend so well on this song. They give each other room to shine on this track.
# 7 – Something’s Got A Hold On Me
The intimate song is from the album Loving You More…In the Spirit of Etta James. The song has a blues sound. The adoring song is about her being in love and not knowing what hit her. She never felt that way before. She was taken by surprise when she fell in love with the man of her dreams. She didn’t think love would happen to her. She never expected to know what it felt to be in love. Being in love is a strange feeling, but it feels good to her. She’s happier than ever now that she’s in love.
This is the second cover track on our list. Leela James wanted to cover songs by her idol Etta James. She dedicated the album to her. She wanted to honor Etta James by remaking her songs for the album. She put her own spin on this classic jam. She changed the arrangement of the song. If you didn’t hear Etta James’ version before, you would never know this was a remake of her song. Leela James made the song sound original. The track sounds like it was created years earlier than it was released, but it doesn’t sound the way Etta James’ version does. The music in Leela James’ version features the guitar, keyboard and drums. The drums and handclaps drive the beat. You can dance to both versions of the track, but Leela James’ version gives you something extra. Leela James tries her best to channel Etta James. She sounds like her without losing her own identity.
# 6 – Complicated
The intriguing song is from the album See Me. The song has an urban contemporary beat. The complex song is about a woman who wants to do everything she can to get romantic with her man. She wants him, but he’s making it difficult for them to get together. She realizes that something happens when they are together. She wants to know what they are waiting for because she’s ready to be with him. She asks him not to make things “complicated.” The singer wants to know what he will do because she’s ready to make things happen with him. If you’re in this position with the man you love, you need to listen to this song. It will let you know that you’re not alone.
There’s nothing “complicated” about how we feel about this song. This track has everything going for it. The music has a groovy beat that you can bop your head to while it’ playing. It sounds like something you can enjoy listening to in a smoky nightclub. This is a jam that you can enjoy listening to with your lover or if you want to think about your feelings. Leela James can sing the alphabet and make it sound poetic and beautiful. Her smoky vocals nail every lyric in the song. Her voice will make you a believer in her music. She has a growl in her voice during the bridge that makes the song stand out in a good way.
# 5 – Set Me Free
The next song on our Top 10 Leela James Songs list is “Set Me Free” from the album Fall for You. The track has a neo-soul sound. The acrimonious song is about a woman who is tired of the way her man is treating her. She wants him to let her go if he’s going to treat her the way he does. She doesn’t want to put up with him doing her wrong and hurting her. She decides she wants to be set free. She’s sick of being sad. She feels like her house isn’t a home. She wants him to be man enough to let her go if he doesn’t love her. She pleads with him to set her free if he loves her.
The song is told from a female’s point of view, but men can relate to it. We have all been in her shoes. If you listen to this song, you won’t feel like you’re alone. It takes a lot of strength to want to be set free instead of holding on to a relationship that’s not working. Leela James makes you want to give her a pat on her shoulders because she makes you feel for her. She doesn’t put her man down. She expresses how she feels about being set free. Her alto vocals are exactly what this song needs. Her voice blends in well with the hypnotic beat. She belts after the bridge, and she sounds good doing it.
# 4 – Fall For You
The straightforward song is from the album of the same name. The song has an r&b beat. The romantic song is about a woman who takes a risk on love. She falls head over heels for a man that she loves. She trusts him with her heart. She’s not sure if she should take the risk, but she goes for it. The singer feels like she’s losing control because she’s falling hard for the man she wants. She does have her doubts. She wonders if he will be there for her. She doesn’t want him to break her heart or let her fall. She is ready to risk everything because she wants to be loved.
The track is stripped. The raw song features the piano. This was a wise choice to make because we get the chance to listen to Leela James without the instrumentation. It gives us a chance to hear her vulnerable side. She lets down the walls and shows the listeners her vulnerable side. She gives a raw performance of this track. You will be captivated by her mesmerizing vocals. Her voice is layered when she sings the chorus. She sounds like two people on the song. Her harmonies are brilliant. You will want this song to keep playing so you can continue to listen to her sing this amazing song.
# 3 – This Day Is for You
The celebratory song is from the album Did It for Love. The song has an r&b beat. The tender song is a tribute to the man she loves. She wants to celebrate her man. She wants to cater to him on his special day. She appreciates him because he treats her right. The singer praises him for treating her right. She wants to give him everything that he gave her. He does everything that he can to make her feel special. He treats her better than any man has treated her in the past. She wants the world to see how much she loves him.
Leela James has a lot of bitter songs on this list so this song is a break from that. She wants to praise her man for being good to her. Men need a song to honor them for being good people. There are a lot of bitter anthems about men on the radio. This track is a way to give good men the praise they deserve. If you have a good man in your life, you should dedicate this song to him. The music is hypnotic. The infectious beat is a toe-tapper. Leela James does an incredible job on this song. She sings the song in time with all the beat changes. She sings the song with grit in her voice. She starts the song softly and then reaches for the stars the longer the song goes. This song is an earworm that will stay in your head.
# 2 – Stay With Me
The sexy song is from the album Fall for You. The song has an r&b beat. The sweet song is about a woman who wants her man to stay with her. They have a sexy time together. She’s ready to be with him. She wants to be where he is all the time. She wants him to stay with her so she won’t be alone. She begs him to stay with her. She asks him not to leave her. She will give anything to be with him. She needs him desperately and doesn’t want him to go away.
The music is beautiful. The melody is a mix of different songs. You will have a challenge trying to figure out where you have heard the beat before. The song has a familiar sound. You know you have heard it before, but you can’t put your finger on it. The music has just enough tempo to move around to it. This is the song you will want to dance to with your lover. The jam is the right choice to play if you want to be intimate with your lover. Leela James’ vocals are spectacular. She does everything right on this track. She sings in her normal tone, and she takes risks. She sings in a higher key. She was able to sing in a higher octave without her voice breaking. She sounds similar to Angela Winbush on this song.
# 1 – Don’t Want You Back
The number one song on our Top 10 Leela James Songs list is “Don’t Want You Back” from the album Did It for Love. The song has an r&b beat. The anthemic song is about an angry woman who is tired of her boyfriend. She tells the story of a woman who decides she’s never going back to a man who treated her badly. She wants to move on from him. She lets him know that she refuses to go back to him. If you are dealing with a bad relationship, this song will give you the courage to leave. This song is told from a woman’s point of view, but men can also get something from it. They may be in the same situation as the one she’s talking about in this song.
The powerful song will move you. It will give you “you go girl” vibes because of how she describes a bad relationship perfectly. She gave a realistic tale about how it feels when you are done with someone. The keyboard and drums dominate the beat. They drive the beat and give the song that little something extra it needs to stand out from the pack. Leela James vocals are magnificent on this song. She hits every nail right on the head. She pushes herself to sing in a higher key throughout the song. She sings in time with an infectious beat. She makes you want to sing along with her while she pours her heart out on the song.
Top 10 Leela James Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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