It really is a hit and miss thing, this success malarkey. After all, why should squeaky Duffy and bland Adele get hyped up and invited to all the swish shindigs. Fair enough, Duffy had one good tune, but there's more life, verve and passion in these five tracks than in both other lassies albums put together.
Ms Russell has a voice that is instantly memorable, leaping out of the speakers, equal parts smooth and gritty. Chuck in a handful of really, really good songs, and this should be an out and out winner.
For sure, the arrangements are mining the same sixties soul scene as many others, but there's a loose, jazzy feel that brings to mind the best work of the Average White Band. Check out songs like 'Living The Life Of A Dreamer' and her cover of Gnarls Barkleys 'Crazy'. I defy you not to be converted to her cause.
on 16 October 2009
As others have said, why Alice Russell isn't up there with the Winehouses and Duffy's of this world is beyond comprehension. Those two couldn't even lace her boots when it comes to the voice. Oh, that voice! The most soulful, evocative sound ever to come from a set of pipes! Actually, I've just remembered how I described her to a friend who was only into whatever gets played on the radio. I said the only comparison I could think of that they would have heard of was Joss Stone. But good. And not annoying. Or with a fake American accent. And with a "real" band behind her.
This album is definitely a "must have", especially since it's got that whole funk and soul vibe about it that was perhaps missing on My Favourite Letters. The production by TM Juke is brilliant, really showcases Alice's voice well. If you're a fan of The New Mastersounds, Quantic Soul Orchestra, etc then you will loe this album (and I mean love). If only the record buying public looked behind the image and actually at the talent, then maybe Alice Russell would get the recognition she deserves. Who knows, maybe people will finally get on board with this one.
on 21 January 2014
I first heard Alice Russell on a Novatunes album, a remix of Munkaroo back in 2010. I was interested, so I bought Pot of Gold and it's been on my player non-stop. She quite rightly sits in the new school of British divas, elegantly mixing Northern soul stomps with smoother RnB and funk ripples. But the outstanding star of this album is Alice's voice. Just when you think her vocal ability has surpassed itself, she blows your mind with something even more breath-taking. Simultaneously rich, sensual, earthy and full of life, her songs are canvases of passion that explore the depths of human experience. A class act that very few will be able to beat. She is a credit to British soul.
on 1 December 2008
Its been 3 years since she released her last album 'proper' My Favourite Letters(under the munka moon 2 was released in 2006 as a compilation of individual tracks) and the wait has almost been too much, but her return on her own label Little Poppet called 'Pot of Gold' doesnt fail to disappoint. The electronic feel that characterised My Fave Letters isnt present as much in Pot of Gold as Alice has progressed towards a more live, band-orientated feel. It is also alot more soul/funk based, and listening to Alice could transport back to the 1970's soul music, but its still got that special 'Alice Russell' tinge that makes her so unique and as worthy of celebration as Amy Winehouse or Duffy.
In terms of the tracks, the first two songs 'Turn & Run' and 'Two steps' are funky soul tunes which are incredibly catchy and showcase her great voice and her bands great musicianship. A number of the songs are alot slower, like GOt the Hunger, her cover of Gnarls Barkley 'Crazy' (a beautiful strings laden effort) which highlights the emotion that runs through an already classic song and a reworking of one of her first songs 'Hurry on Now' as well as the last song All Alone. The beats havent gone completely as can be seen by 'Let us be loving' but there is a definite soul tinge to this record which might not be everyones cup of tea. totally recommend buying this album (and maybe do so through the etchshop website rather than through the mainstream distribution channels of amazon)