Shontelle, "Impossible"

Track Review
4.5

Barbadian singer Shontelle shines on "Impossible," giving one of the year's standout female vocal performances and recalling the poignancy and technical precision of Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable." Shontelle already earned a top 40 entry in 2008 with "T-Shirt," but this arresting midtempo ballad is now the bigger hit of the two. The 24-year-old's vulnerable delivery demands attention when she sings, "Tell them all I know now, shout it from the rooftops/Write it on the skyline/All we had is gone now," releasing the pain of a broken heart. A gentle piano melody, acoustic guitar line, simple drumbeat and light synth production support a stunning melody co-written by Swedish producer Arnthor Birgisson (Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson) and Norwegian singer/songwriter Ina Wroldsen, who also supplies backing vocals. Nothing is impossible when a vocal sounds as effortless and anthemic as this. --Michael Menachem