For the best of British soul this fall, Rumer has it.
Britain has a real talent for soul singers and songwriters. The place formally known for Rock & Roll in the 60's is now smoothing it out in the new millennium. From the sensational Corrine Bailey Rae to the seriously good Duffy. Even veteran singer/songwriter David Gray has plenty of soul to boot. Rae release a classic album to begin the year with 'The Sea' and to close 2010 Duffy herself hope to bridge the tide of big releases with her sophomore set 'Endlessly'. Still this cold British fall belongs to Rumer, believe it. A soul singer with talent more than just hear say. In this Winter Rumer's debut 'Seasons Of My Soul' brings warm and comfort for those long days and even longer nights.
This soul set starts off with 'Am I Forgiven?' a perfect opener about being closed off in a relationship. Rumer's haunting vocals from the start evoke a dark, brooding passion that continue to be frighteningly good throughout the whole album. The words to the chorus are simple but heartfelt, making them the best of the song. The simple way 'Am I Forgiven' is sang is so deep and meaningful, where the lyrically strong verses bridge everything together as she laments, "I Lost My Heart/I Sat On My Window And Looked Out At/Watched The Rain Washed Down The Street/Oh Will The Sunrise/Like The Birds The Birds That Fly Over" In her soulful display Rumer is at one with the seasons.
The buzz of this album sped up a notch from the instant classic 'Slow'. A track that ages like fine wine and is drawn out like a classic cigar. All in perfect timing. A sweet, soulful sombre number for the ages. Rumer's tribute 'Aretha' to Miss Franklin also displays this soultress' heart. This ode to souls greatest might be one of the most respectful tributes in music. Rumer reminisces with nostalgic lyrics such as, "Aretha/Aretha/I don’t want to go to school/Cause they just don’t understand me and I think the place is cruel". This song shows that even at times of loneliness Rumer had soul on her side. To be Franklin would to be touched even more by this song.
The delicate number 'Come To Me High' is uplifting from the first 'ba, ba, ba'. The soft drumming matches the subtle but sensual vocals. Rumer brings a depth and devotion that has been missing in most mainstream music. She asks us to 'Take Me As I Am' on yet another high note from an album where we accept her into the high ranks with immediate effect. 'Saving Grace' is yet another super song from an album that doesn't need a hero. You'll appreciate tracks like 'Thankful' and be soothed by the soul of 'Healer' a song so classic it feels and sounds like it was recorded many fall moons ago.
This album is so good the 11 tracks fly by as the track 'Blackbird' soars and 'On My Way Home' returns us to a distinct, individual sound which has gone from new to familiar as this album plays from start to finish. As Rumer reaches the finale of this album and waves with 'Goodbye Girl' this upbeat number is one we'll want to hear again from an artist we want to see from. As the singer tells us "Now that I have found you, you must not slip away". The feeling could not be any more than mutual.
So who is Rumer apart from thirty something Sarah Joyce? What's true and not from all this publicity? Is she as good as Corrine and Duffy? Englands answer to Norah Jones? Take it from me above all Sarah Joyce is her own, unique individual talent. A throwback who is about to become the future of British soul and that's the Rumer you can believe in. TIM DAVID HARVEY