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Monday, 28 May 2012

Rumer - Boys Don't Cry 2012

I'm not totally sure I get this. Rumer seems to come out of nowhere and has a million selling album in 'Seasons of My Soul', wins the MOJO Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2011, and chooses to follow it up with an album of cover versions! Here is a girl who people were touting as a great British songwriter and yet, an album of covers? It just doesn't make sense!

Much has been made about the quality of her voice (she has been likened to Karen Carpenter!), and I don't deny that it sounds good, but I can't get over why her record label (Atlantic) has given the green light for this album. Surely to take advantage of the "hype" surrounding her songwriting abilities would have been the best course of action by her label but instead they have gone the "safe route".

So what about the songs she has covered for the project? With a title 'Boys Don't Cry' I half expected that she had covered The Cure's superb 1979 track, but she hasn't! She has turned her attention to male singers and songwriters from the 1970's and what a motely crew they are: Jimmy Webb, Hall and Oates, Ronnie Lane, Townes Van Zandt, and a couple of  puzzling ones like Clifford T. Ward and Gilbert O'Sullivan

P.F.Sloan by Jimmy Webb opens the album and it's not too bad at all. In fact it's not a bad album if you like your music quiet! You see that's the thing it's not a bad album, but I don't see an album like this as a real follow up to such a massive debut album. I would expect it from someone who maybe doesn't have an ounce of talent, but not Rumer (who is bursting with it). I know that sounds very petty but that's the way I see it.

The Guardian newspaper said this, "She's clearly in no emotional shape yet to craft a proper sequel to her terrific debut" and the BBC said, "The object of the project was, she says, to make a record that described the solace and anguish she’s experienced since achieving success and fame." If she told the BBC that then that sounds like the right "emotional shape" to craft an album of new music rather than fall on this safety net of covers!
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