12 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer/songwriter Leela James has proved herself one of the more gifted voices in contemporary soul, forging a sound that feels at once polished but gritty, elegant but elemental. Her sixth album is her most assured yet, leaning on luxurious, midtempo tracks that don’t just showcase James’ voice and writing but her canny sense of style, which nods to contemporary sounds but keeps its roots firmly in the past. Standouts include the quiet storm of “Don’t Want You Back” and the plaintive “I Remember,” which hint at hip-hop without throwing off the classicism of James’ sound.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer/songwriter Leela James has proved herself one of the more gifted voices in contemporary soul, forging a sound that feels at once polished but gritty, elegant but elemental. Her sixth album is her most assured yet, leaning on luxurious, midtempo tracks that don’t just showcase James’ voice and writing but her canny sense of style, which nods to contemporary sounds but keeps its roots firmly in the past. Standouts include the quiet storm of “Don’t Want You Back” and the plaintive “I Remember,” which hint at hip-hop without throwing off the classicism of James’ sound.

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