Seasons of My Soul
With a voice that's drawn comparisons to Karen Carpenter for its silky soulfulness, British singer/songwriter Rumer (born Sarah Joyce) has earned the support of Elton John and Burt Bacharach, whose "Alfie" is on the deluxe version of this fine album. Bacharach is an appropriate touchstone; songs like the sweeping "Slow" and the dreamlike "Come to Me High" are very much in his mold. Electric and acoustic pianos, brass arrangements, gently restrained drums, and Rumer's velvet voice brings back the days of Carole King, Laura Nyro, and "Rainy Days and Mondays" with such perfect autobiographical timepieces such as "Am I Forgiven?," "Aretha," and "Take Me as I Am." The inclusion of David Gates' "Goodbye Girl" is further indication that she's out to bring back the romance of early-'70s AM radio. The album, which was released in the U.K. in 2010, has received positive notices and awards there. The deluxe version includes covers of Paul Simon's "Long Long Day," The Beach Boys' "The Warmth of the Sun," and the aforementioned Bacharach track, "Alfie."