114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
After hearing the single 'Slow' this album was eagerly awaited and it doesn't disappoint in any way. Since it arrived it hasn't been off the player and I highly recommend it for lovers of sultry, bluesey, intimate music. The quality of her voice is amazing. Front-runner of the tracks so far is 'Aretha' - heartbreakingly beautiful.
The final track - 'Goodbye girl' was a surprise as it's a cover of an old David Gates/Bread song but done in a fresh way that totally compliments the rest of the album.
Buy it - you won't regret it!
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2010
As the title of the album signposts this is a collection of Rumer's highly personal songs but the songs certainly resonate with me. Whilst there isn't the lyrical ability of a say, Joni Mitchell or Suzanne Vega here, the words are elegant and moving. The lyrics are effective in their portrayal of universal themes; loss of loved ones, loss and finding of love, isolation.
With regards to the the songs as a whole there are numerous comparisons that can be made, Karen Carpenter, Judee Sill , Carole King, early Laura Nyro, even Joni Mitchell in a couple of songs, and a host of others. I agree with some of the previous reviewers that that some of the material and its delivery is reminiscent of Dusty Springfield. The production is certainly of a classic vintage and quite Bacharachesque in its lightness of touch but it's faultless. And as to the Carpenters comparisons, I can't think of an original Carpenters albums that is strong as this, there is none of the cheesiness that Richard Carpenter sometimes brought to bear. And these are (apart from the David Gates song) Rumer's own songs. The songs are all beautifully song, it's approachable but it's quite moving in places and there's a lot of naked emotion in this album. It might not cheer everybody up as it is underscored with melancholy but that only helps it to work as a cohesive album. Beneath the surface sheen there is considerable turmoil being worked through. So if you want a nice 100% happy album you're in the wrong place.
Oddly, the album opens with what is possibly the weakest track "Am I Forgiven" is my least favourite song on the album. It's pleasant enough but doesn't give any indication of the riches to follow. I suppose though it makes for a relatively gentle introduction. The sequence of songs from "Thankful" to "On My Way Home" is breathtaking though and is both harrowing and uplifting. And that sequence makes it hard for me to fathom the accusations of blandness that are littered about in some of the reviews. It's not often you get such subtle songs about grief, bereavement, abandonment, resilience and emotional rebirth. Not the usual territory for relatively mainstream music I would guess.
There is an artistic integrity and nuanced delivery in play here that isn't commonplace for such easily accessible work.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2010
Lets not forget that we've had nearly 20 years of pop music aimed squarely at children and I don't know about anyone else but I've had enough autotune and rap pollution to last a lifetime as well as having to endure a decade of dreadful Boy/Girl bands and X Factor wannabees.
All I can say is that this album is a breath of fresh air to my ears, its aimed at adults or people with a taste for traditional pop music and I welcome more of the same and a return to some sanity in the music world.
Remember that not every song on an album has to be sculptured to be a hit or a dance tune, do not confuse this with blandness. I hear an artist expressing themselves creatively with very little record executive interference which should be celebrated as a positive thing in todays throwaway world.
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
This Album really is something special and for me the best release of the year. There are no fillers here, each song has been lovingly written and produced with Rumer's great voice conveying both the joy and heartache of the superb lyrics. An absolute winner that I can't recommend enough.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
I was really looking forward to receiving this CD as I had been listening to the tracks available on Rumer's website.
There are not many albums these days that I want to listen to over and over but this one will be played to death by me.
The only niggle is that the content that is meant to be available via an internet link i.e a couple of DVDs and two additional tracks, could not be accessed on my laptop. I tried when I first got the CD (30th October) and again on the release date (in case there was some verification required on the date) but can't get past the first page of the registration. I don't think that it's caused by blocked pop-ups, because I tried disabling them for the page and it made no difference. Has anyone else had a problem?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2010
I love this album and it is almost perfect. Other reviewers have mentioned that it is not the most ground-breaking set of tracks. Perhaps not, but it is extremely good. The album is too short and there are a number of tracks which finish too abruptly - "Slow" is one and, my favourite track, "Take Me As I Am" is another - I just think it needs another burst of its chorus. Perhaps I just want more of her and that can be said right across the album. Perhaps Rumer has another album waiting for a quick follow-up - now that would be nice.
Reviewers have been commenting about the comparisons with Karen Carpenter and Laura Nyro. Rumer's voice is very much like Karen's - the similarity is startling, but I'm not so sure about the comparison made with Laura Nyro; Dusty Springfield, yes; in fact, Dusty + Karen = Rumer, although Rumer does not reach the top notes as comfortably as Karen C did - almost, but not quite. Karen, whom I will always love, had a voice which is just about the perfect score of 10, Rumer is a 9.9 score. The multi-tracking of her voice is a delight and gives a rich, warm feeling which soothes the soul. The musicianship is also very well done, quite subtle in its understated way, as the production allows us to hear the instruments without them getting in the way of the vocals.
The tracks are self-penned except for a couple which she wrote with Steve Brown or Greg Churchill. The final track, "Goodbye Girl" is a David Gates cover. All the tracks are beautifully produced - "Aretha" and "Healer" are beautiful, with that Carpenters-like Burt Bacharach touch and the Herb Alpert sound. As already alluded, I am a massive Carpenters fan and this does it for me. I understand that other reviewers (plus the Guardian and BBC reviews) have said the tracks are not very original. Strangely, I don't worry about this. I think that Rumer may have trodden cautiously this time - and it pays off. The first fours tracks are immensely strong, the next six are excellent and the last - "Goodbye Girl" is just lovely.
I also like the CD booklet which is unfussy, has the lyrics and a nice picture of her in her mother's arms - a nice, sweet, personal touch.
Now, there are a lot of female singers about who are either in groups and have made solo albums (Cheryl Cole / Nadine Coyle) and/or have won talent contests (Alexander Burke / Leona Lewis). All may have their merits and certainly have their fans. None, in my opinion, get close to the quality of this girl, who has achieved her success the hard way, it seems (waiting on tables, that kind of thing, in order to pay her way into music).
At 30/31, success has come later than usual, but the wait is worth it. This is a superbly soothing album from a wonderful singer. I'm already geared up for a second album, but patience is a virtue, so I'll wait as patiently as possible.
Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of Rumer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2011
Look for the '*' icon to skip to the actual (attempted) review of the album itself. I feel as though I need to explain a little of my tastes first.
I've never really written a review before, but on this occasion I felt I had no choice.
Warning - This review contains digression and ramblings. I can't help it. I meander.
To my shame I'd never even heard of Rumer until the turn of the year. I'd heard many comparisons with Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, Mama Cass, with a similar style to Norah Jones and Katie Melua. Well I'm not really a fan of that genre(s?) of music (bar The Carpenters. I have everything I could find of their work), preferring instead Rock from the late sixties and early seventies, New Wave from the eighties and very little since, with regard 'mainstream'. Out of touch? Quite probably. I must be getting old, at 33. Though I do have everything by Radiohead, The White Stripes and The Editors. Overall, very few bands or artists have any real impact on me these days. Yet my iTunes library has over 200,000 songs, so I do love my music. Whatever, right?
Sometime earlier in the year I was swapping Youtube links with my younger, far more musically in the know than myself, friend, with regards what was 'current', etc. I was introducing her to Deep Forest, whom she'd never really heard before. She was into the typical modern day artists like Lady Gaga, katy perry and Usher. Artists that have little impact on my musical tastes. As I said......out of touch. I'd humoured her with my replies. 'That was great', 'Send me another' and 'OMFGz...Love it!' Pacifying her really. Then she sent me Slow by Rumer.
This may have been the first time an artist other than John Lennon or Thom Yorke.....or more pointedly, Karen Carpenter, had me transfixed in such a way. It could have been Karen herself! On it's own the song is merely good. With her voice it becomes something more entirely. I had to get the album.
I read a lot of the reviews of this album before adding this effort. The majority I read were of the negative nature. I didn't need to read the others. I needed to see how on earth this album could warrant any negative reaction. I understood much of it. Different strokes and all that. I can see why some may think Rumer sounds dull. Or how there are no hooks, basic lyrics and contrived production. But on this occasion I personally don't care. This album is about the voice. Effortless beauty. At least that's what I thought during the first, second and third playthrough. A few of the songs themselves certainly won't be counted amongst the greatest. At least on their own. But over time (it's a slow burner) Seasons of My Soul gets better. Each playthrough tells a different story. Each song, line and word uttered from her mouth has an almost therapeutic value. This is the perfect stress buster. When Rumer is singing to me nothing else in the world matters. Nor exists. Until it's over. Being an avid Carpenters fan, yes I know it's not up there with their finest work, but there are such resonating echoes of Karen in Rumer's voice (hauntingly moving in that regard), yet having a way about her that is totally unique to her (if you've stayed around to hear it again and again). On My Way Home is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs I've ever heard. Yet Vertigo shows her sense of fun. Slow, Aretha and Am I forgiven are all strong contenders for best song too. But, come on.....this is a DEBUT album. Surely someone with the talent of this lady can only get better.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 November 2010
Seasons Of My Soul has been playing at our household since my good wife bought it a few weeks ago. I am completely spellbound by this CD. What I love about it is that dreamy and soft-focused, but bittersweet and intensely lyrical quality that imbues the songs. I lose myself totally in the CD when it plays. Not deliberately, mind; I just get carried gently away by those beguiling rhythms and the loveliness of her voice. And it's not my usual modus operandi with music - I like to mix things up normally, and can play perhaps 30 different CDs in any given week.
We've had many comparisons with Karen Carpenter; and she indeed shares some similarities in both singing style and subject matter; loneliness and unrequited love - and you also hear touches of Burt Bacharach; she's mentioned him in her `Thanks' section, although his influence may have been inspirational rather than physical in the crafting of this album; apparently he's a huge fan of hers (Burt wrote for Karen Carpenter as well, incidentally).
The big difference to me, however, is that you get a sense of world-weariness from Karen; that pathos and sheer ennui that pervades The Carpenters songs, where you know that when Karen says she'll never find love again, you believe her. Not so with Rumer. You know she's made of sterner stuff than that, and you know that she'll emerge with a sigh and a shrug, and move on. With Rumer, there's none of the resignation we hear in Karen's vocals. You can feel the optimism in Rumer's sadness, and even the sad songs are strangely uplifting.
But you can over-analyse. When all's said and done, I just love the songs and I love Rumer's voice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A lovely 'classy' Album from a great new talent!
Discovered for me on the fabulous Jools Holland Show - I was blown away by the sheer talent of this Singer as she performed her Single: 'Aretha' which I had never heard before.
Despite being the only Artiste not to sing more than one Song on Jools' 'Hootenanny' Show; I knew instantly that I'd enjoy an Album by this very talented new Singer!
It's a collection of eleven beautiful Numbers that are ideal for this type of voice, including two Singles; the aforementioned 'Aretha' and 'Slow' - both of which are the best Songs on the Album of course. The running time of the Album is also just forty minutes - which for me is not over-long as so often CDs these days are. The trick for success with me is to not leave me bored with a load of over-long numbers to try to convince me I am getting more for my money; just leave me wanting more - not boredom...
My interpretation is that she is a mixture of 'Dusty Springfield' and 'Sandie Shaw' - 'Dusty' with her performance style (particularly the way she moves her arms whilst singing) and has the 'maturity' in her voice that is reminiscent of 'Sandie Shaw' which comes through at certain points more than others for some reason.
For me; this lady both looked and sounded 'classy' on the Show I first saw her - I hope she keeps the quality!
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2010
Sarah Rumer Joyce has to be, as far as real singing goes, THE musical find of 2010. Her voice channels the essence of Dusty Springfield, mixed with the resonace of Tracy Thorn (of Everything But the Girl), as well as the melancholy of Karen Carpenter. It is no wonder that Burt Bacharach flew her to Los Angeles just to hear her sing. As each song on the CD played, I found myself more and more drawn in to Rumer's vocal and interpretative charms. While the songs "Am I Forgiven", "Slow", Aretha", and "Come to Me High" seem to have gotten the most attention, "Saving Grace", "Thankful", and "Healer" have been my repeated listening favorites. "Thankful" drew me to pull out and listen to a 1978 song "Sandra" by Dusty Springfield from the album "It Begins Again." Not only is there a profound similarity to Dusty's vocal tone, but also in the story-telling style of the lyrics. While Dusty's "Sandra" is about a suburban wife who "accidentally" slits her wrists, "Thankful" is like Rumer's "opposite" answer song with the suburbanite choosing to have gratitude for what is right in front of her. Actually, I would love to hear Rumer do the song "Sandra."
While "Goodbye Girl" may seem like it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of "Seasons of My Soul", it does show that she has a soft spot for 1960s, 70s & 80s pop. She has also recorded covers of The Sandpipers' "Come Saturday Morning", The Beach Boys' "Warmth of the Sun", and Stephen Bishop's hit "It Might Be You" from "Tootsie." Those are available as "B" sides on CD singles or bonus tracks on the deluxe download version of the album on iTunes.
Just when I thought 2010 was going to pass without any real memorable new music, along comes "Rumer."...