Release Date: Sep 25, 2012
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
Rumer's sophomore effort, 2012's Boys Don't Cry, is a retro soft rock covers album that finds the vocalist tackling tracks by various male artists of the 1970s. As with her acclaimed 2010 debut, Seasons of My Soul, Boys Don't Cry showcases Rumer's gentle and sweetly soulful vocal style that is clearly perfectly suited to this material. In fact, for anyone already familiar with her, it almost goes without saying that Rumer sounds a lot like soft pop icon Karen Carpenter.
Releasing a covers album as the successor to Rumer's hit debut seems to have "stopgap" written all over it, but Boys Don't Cry is not entirely thus. Though made with the intention of keeping fans sated until the official followup to 2010's Seasons of My Soul appears next year, Boys Don't Cry has been constructed with all the delicate intensity of the first record. There are 12 obscure 1970s songs here, all originally recorded by men, and they re-emerge in deeply feminine wrapping – all velvety arrangements and languid alto croon.
Sarah Joyce covers male songwriters both culty and canonical on album number two. Paul Lester 2012 On Boys Don’t Cry, the follow-up to her million-selling 2010 debut Seasons of My Soul, Rumer has recorded versions of tracks written by men in the 1970s. It doesn’t quite have the subversive qualities that Tori Amos’ similarly themed 2001 album Strange Little Girls had – with the possible exception of her take on Neil Young’s A Man Needs a Maid, where the sense and meaning of the original are somewhat altered by its being performed by a woman in 2012.
Many music aficionados can take pleasure merely from a song's arrangement, much like techies can spot well-written computer code or architects a nicely turned eave. Really, though, most of us probably listen to music more personally – to find echoes of our experience or something that thrums along with our internal weather. Songs speak to us. Music lifts us up, validates our lows.
Keith Jarrett Over a five-year period in the mid- to late-1970s Keith Jarrett’s European Quartet struck an elusive truce between the lean and the florid. Led from the piano by Mr. Jarrett and strictly devoted to his compositions, the band — otherwise made up of Scandinavians, his contemporaries if not exactly his peers — created music of imploring melody and intrepid ephemerality.