Female vocalists looking to re-create the sounds of the 60s are nothing new, but lovers of the joyful 60s-inspired fluff recently released by the likes of The Pipettes and Lucky Soul should approach this with caution. Sure, it sounds like it comes from that decade - in fact the production, slight static and all, makes it sound more authentically so than the aforementioned bands. But this is altogether a darker, more brooding affair. Candie Payne's influences are not so much The Shirelles and The Chiffons (with the exception of One More Chance) as late 60s Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield.
So far, so promising, but my initial feeling was that the quality of the songs just didn't match up to such lofty predecessors. I was all ready to give it a three-star review. A couple more listens, however, and it's wormed another star out of me. Why? Well, firstly it's finally dawned on me that just because an album is in the style of Dusty Springfield, it doesn't mean it IS Dusty Springfield. Ms Payne's voice is certainly pleasant, but will always come off second best if compared to Dusty's fantastic soulful larynx, so reviewing it in that context is neither fair nor helpful. Secondly, to me this is an album that you need to listen to a few times to appreciate fully. This is not to say it doesn't have its moments of immediacy - Take Me is charmingly catchy, A Different You is suitably haunting, while By Tomorrow chugs along cheerfully - but the overall initial feeling may be one of potential that isn't quite fulfilled. Stick with it though, and this album's goodies slowly reveal themselves. A promising debut...it will be interesting to see what Candie does next.