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Pot of Gold

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Album Review

British soul singers, even explicitly retro ones, aren't exactly a new phenomenon. But Alice Russell is an arresting voice on the vintage soul scene, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that her singing style could hardly be more faithful to the traditions of her stylistic forebears. Those influences include everyone from Nina Simone and Dusty Springfield to, when she's at her full-throated best, Aretha Franklin. Despite the occasional incursion of relatively modern-sounding keyboards, Pot of Gold sounds like it could have been produced in 1968: drummer Jack Baker plays in a studiously old-school style and the production keeps his tone rather thin and trebly, just like it was on those old Motown recordings; the horn charts are sharp and funky, and Alex Cowan's guitar parts are historically accurate as well. But at the center of the album is that voice, and on such brilliant period pieces as "Turn & Run," the skitteringly funky "Hesitate," and the slow-burning "Let Us Be Loving" she pours all of her skinny blond self into her singing, vibrating with energy yet never losing control. The album's most startling moment is her cover version of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," which she turns into a gospel-flavored soul workout complete with massed backing vocals and a surprising layer of bowed harmonics. "Universe" is a Brazilian samba that gives her the opportunity to croon sweetly — until the chorus comes around and she blows the roof off again. Let this one send you back to the vaults for her earlier work on the Tru Thoughts label.


Born: 01 March 1975 in Suffolk, England

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Soul era-inspired U.K. vocalist Alice Russell, if anything a child of Chaka Khan, became increasingly known throughout the early 2000s with her contributions to recordings from Bah Samba, Quantic, TM Juke, and Nostalgia 77, and she also released some ambitious albums for the Tru Thoughts label. Under the Munka Moon (2004) and My Favourite Letters (2005) jumped over several pigeonholes from track to track, at various times falling in line with later 4hero (à la Creating Patterns and Play with the...
Full bio
Pot of Gold, Alice Russell
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Soul, Neo-Soul
  • Released: 17 November 2008

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