Monday, October 10, 2011
RUMER – SEASONS OF MY SOUL
Moreover, Seasons Of My Soul was a critical sensation, earning extraordinary acclaim for a debut album. Mojo hailed the collection as a five-star "Instant Classic," praising Rumer for "(achieving) perfect balance between effusion and restraint... It's as if Rumer is laying bare humanity's soul, such is her ability to create intimacy and emotional depth within a song." "A mellifluous aural balm of jazz and soul, these are songs of yearning and loss," declared Q in a four-starred rave, while Uncut applauded the album for its "dream-like melancholy, thanks to the tension between Rumer's sweet voice and her troubled lyrics." "Sensationally good," affirmed The Sunday Times, "Rumer has one of those voices - a sort of confiding, conversational sigh, equal parts Laura Nyro, Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, and Joni Mitchell - you would be happy to listen to for days and days."
In an Interview with Robert Copsey of Digital Spy she explained why the album was called Seasons of My Soul, she said: "Mainly because it took me so long to make the album that I noticed that the songs were coming round again. I'd have these moods in my soul that would come around like seasons over the years and the songs matched the moods. It was like an emotional landscape. There are different shades, different feels and different colours to the album. Some people have been saying that 'Slow' is an autumnal song and so is 'Aretha' in a way."
Rumer also received rapturous praise for her live performances, with Q extolling "a voice pure as a primary colour, dappling occasional light towards Carole King, more seldom Alison Goldfrapp, but for the most part a fiery phoenix rising from the unmistakable ashes of Karen Carpenter." "Her vocals are a deft blend of bright, shining delicacy and the darkness of genuine heartache," declared The Independent of a headline appearance at London's famed Bloomsbury Theatre, with The Times proclaiming the show as "a classic pop moment." In addition, a performance at New York's Joe's Pub earned the admiration of the Daily News, who noted, "It's particularly gratifying in these melisma-mad days to hear a singer who doesn't throw her voice around athletically. Instead (Rumer) trusts the essential quality of her instrument to tell the tale."
Rumer left school at 16 and drifted around England, attending Art College in Devon before joining a fledgling indie band, La Honda. Everything changed when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Rumer dealt with her pain by writing a series of intensely powerful songs, documenting her personal journey through grief. She returned to London upon her mother's death in 2003, performing anywhere and everywhere she could, ultimately catching the attention of producer/composer Steve Brown. Together the two musicians began crafting what would become Seasons Of My Soul. In addition, Rumer also had a fateful encounter with one of her personal heroes, the legendary Burt Bacharach, who flew her to Los Angeles after hearing the album's extraordinary first single, "Slow." Earning the master's approval was just the beginning of what's proven to be a somewhat dizzying ride for Rumer.
Meanwhile, in terms of its musical and lyrical influences, Rumer told Pete Lewis, Assistant Editor of Blues & Soul: "I think all the songs have elements of different things that have influenced me, and different MUSIC that's influenced me. Songs like 'Slow' and 'Come To Me High' have little dreamy, Bacharach-type chords and those lilting, gorgeous melodies that remind me of songs that I've heard and loved in films that were written by the fantastic composers from the Thirties like Irving Berlin and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Then 'Take Me As I Am' is very Laura Nyro & LaBelle - soulful with a gospel feel. ("When we did Take Me As I Am, we were listening to the Laura Nyro/Labelle album Gonna Take a Miracle. That was a huge influence on the record. New York Tendaberry as well." ) While 'Thankful' I think is very Joni Mitchell from her Hejira phase, where it's like a poem which describes a season in each verse... While lyrically the album is largely just classic autobiographical storytelling." Other influences on the album Rumer has cited are Judell Sill and, " Not necessarily in the songwriting, but in the production."
Seasons Of My Soul Track Listing:
1. Am I Forgiven
2. Come To Me High
4. Take Me As I Am
6. Saving Grace
10. On My Way Home
"I AM FORGIVEN"