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!
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.
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.
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.
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."...
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?
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.
on 1 November 2010
Recieved Seasons of my Soul on Saturday and haven't stop playing it. I never thought anyone could sing like Karen Carpenter but Rumer can and she has an amazing voice in her own right. It's cool, calm and sexy. It makes you relax and take things easy and enjoy what your listening to. I own lots of cd's from all areas of music and I put Seasons of my Soul in my top five. This CD was well worth waiting for and I look forward to her next CD. I get very stressed (like most people these days) but listening to rumer is soothing and very relazing. I hope her concerts will be a sell out and that she becomes a "superstar"
on 9 September 2010
I first heard Rumer sing in Ginglik in Shepherds Bush a few years ago and her songs were was stunning! It was an open mike talent night and she was so good i asked if she had a Cd, she didn;t but Rumer burnt me a copy of a couple of her songs and posted it to me, for nothing. It is still one of my favourites, her voice is simply astonishingly serene, I'm so excited and pleased to see her release an album, I have no doubt it will be absolutely beautiful. Millie
on 3 November 2010
I bought this album on the basis that "Slow" would be representative of it's content. Unfortunately, it is actually the best track.
While Rumer has a good voice (though perhaps not as good as some make out), it's the type of songs she sings that lets this album down. There are no great melodies or hooks; nothing really to make you want to play it again. The arrangements are all pretty bland, with any magic or expression in the playing has somehow been "produced out". The tunes all remind me of stuff you could have hear on the Light Programme in the 60's - Petula Clark, Burt Bacharach, etc. - rather than the Carpenters stuff from a decade later.
All rather too mellow!
I love great female vocals, but I will for now stick with the more contemporary sounds of Sarah McClachlan, the folk of Cara Dillon, or the old hippie favourite Joni Mitchell for something original and moving.