This is how a veritable Pop album should sound like in 2015. The British singer-songwriter Rumer (born Sarah Joyce), who was born in Pakistan, has delivered her third album, produced by Rob Shirakbari, and it is another collection of 11 little stories told in her inimitable vocal style which is stuck in the 60s combined with today’s production tools. She opens her new set with a melancholic introduction (“Return of Blackbird”) before she segues into the only uptempo dancer on the album: “Dangerous” is the perfect combination between Barry White‘s Love Unlimited Orchestra and Burt Bacharach. “Reach Out” starts with a delicious Wurlitzer and builds into a perfect pop ditty with added flugelhorns. Both songs have brilliant support by vocalists Sharon Bryant and Porter Carroll.
This retro feel continues here with lyrics that are only perfunctorily sinister (“‘Cause people can stab you in the back right out of the blue” in “You Just Don’t Know People”) only to save our souls later (“Take a little walk in the sunshine, Count 1,2,3” in the same song). “Baby, Come Back To Bed” is a string-laden love song (real strings!) that is so sweet it’s hard to top. “Play Your Guitar” is a paean to the street musicians everyhwere and comes with a superb backing vocal arrangement. Everything here is laid-back, comfortable, and unobtrusive, but in a sexy way.
After another love song with her infectious vocals (“Sam”), Rumer gets A-list additional background vocal help from Janis Siegel (The Manhattan Transfer) and Lauren Kinhan (New York Voices) in the Carpenters-like, hopelessly optimistic “Better Place” (another catchy one here) and the equally haunting “Pizza And Pinball”, a hymn to the good old times (“Let’s …chew cigar gum, trade Matchbox cars, play ball and jacks…”). And when she sings “I’m going where the sky meets the dawn, I’m going where the stars meet the shore” in “I Am Blessed”, you really want to go with her. A brilliant return! Rumer (born Sarah Joyce) is on tour:
March 03: Amsterdam, People’s Place
March 05: Stockholm, Sodra Teatern
March 06: Copenhagen, Lille Vega
March 08: Hamburg, Mojo Club
March 09: Brussels, AB Flex
March 10: Cologne, Kulturkirche
March 12: Berlin, Heimathafen
March 13: Zurich, Kaufleuten
March 14: Munich, Technikum