Eleni Mandell’s I Can See the Future draws on the wistful ambiance of early-‘60s pop and country, avoiding the spiky rhythms and ominous moods that characterized her last outing. A failed relationship and the joys of new parenthood are both reflected in these songs, giving the album an emotional duality that mixes shadow and light in equal measure. Mandell’s rich alto vocals take on a dreamy quality that moves away from the hipster jazz-pop of earlier releases toward a more reflective, folk-cabaret approach. Her lyrics are sharp, succinct, and filled with intense emotion. “The Future” (as misty and haunting in feel as the Northern California landscape it describes) and “The Desert Song” (a bittersweet sketch of a fleeting romance) are especially evocative. “Bun in the Oven” and “So Easy” recall Mandell’s past interest in countrypolitan sounds, while “Who You Gonna Dance With” has the easy seductiveness of vintage R&B. Joe Chiccarelli’s production takes a nuanced approach with shimmering keyboards, brushed drums, and sparsely applied strings, adding extra elegance to this outstanding song collection.