Release Date: Jan 24, 2012
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
Rumer caused more than a little stir in England when this album emerged in 2010’s fading light. Jools Holland and Elton John were early converts and Burt Bacharach himself has also waxed enthusiastic about the newcomer. Of course, elder statesmen singing a younger artist’s praises does as much for the profile of the former as it does for the latter; thus, the real question, at the end of the record, is this: Is it any good? The answer is, resoundingly, this: Yes.
While the alternative electro of Ellie Goulding and Marina & the Diamonds dominated the early Sound of 2010 polls, it's a former commune-dwelling lounge-pop chanteuse named after prolific children's author Rumer Godden who appears to have stolen their thunder on nearly every annual best albums countdown. Since the Radio 2 playlisting of her debut single, "Slow," 31-year-old Anglo-Pakistani Rumer has quietly crept up on her more NME-friendly counterparts thanks to her authentic '60s chilled-out sound, which has been publicly championed by everyone from musical hero Burt Bacharach, who personally invited her to sing for him at his California home, to former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who wrote a glowing review of her in The Guardian after seeing her perform on the prestigious Jools Holland show. Inspired by the 1930 standards of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the gospel soul of Laura Nyro, and the easy listening pop of Dusty Springfield, Seasons of My Soul is an astoundingly self-assured first offering that is a million miles away from the indie folk of her short-lived early-noughties outfit La Honda.
Around the 25th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper, a journalist asked David Mellor, then the national heritage secretary, for his favourite track on the Beatles' most famous album. Quick as a flash, he answered "Submarine", a quote from a halcyon era when you knew exactly where you were with politicians and pop music. How lovely it was when they existed in mutually exclusive worlds, when even if Margaret Thatcher was inveigled to review the singles on Saturday Superstore, you knew disaster would ensue.
Wears its cracked heart on a neatly stitched sleeve of the most luxurious fabric. Mike Diver 2010 Contrary to what televised talent shows might tediously suggest, there really isn’t a great voice waiting to be found on every high street. Sure, the throw-everything-at-a-wall approach works occasionally – nobody can deny that Leona Lewis is a brilliant singer, albeit one without an album worthy of her talent – but the scrapheap of public-voted flops continues to grow.
At first listen, it would be natural to discount Rumer as one of those gossamer-voiced muzak merchants who come around on Jools Holland just in time for Christmas. The music-buying public's appetite for fresh vintage sounds shows no sign of slowing, as the new Duffy album attests. You might assume Rumer's song, "Aretha" – a gentle hymn to the power of Franklin – constitutes an elegant compounding of this popular interest.