Alice Russell: Under Smoky Club Lights

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Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Lights Went Out"
  • Artist: Alice Russell
  • CD: Pot of Gold
  • Genre: Soul
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In "Lights Went Out," Alice Russell keeps adding sonic layers until everyone's drawn in to her swinging soul. Digby Oldridge hide caption

toggle caption Digby Oldridge

Every few decades, the British invade. This time out, the onslaught features a bevy of beautiful women with deep voices and serious soul. Alice Russell hitched a ride on that boat, and with Pot of Gold, she plants her flag and claims some fresh territory for herself.

Her voice dances lightly throughout the album, moving gracefully amid lush orchestration and bright pop hooks. Some of the faster tracks can seem strained, but Russell is at her best in the mellower likes of "Lights Went Out." Opening with an attention-grabbing violin solo before settling into an easy swing, the song shines dimly in the smoky club lights. In between bits of weary advice — "Just take what you give / Judge another by the way you live" — Russell keeps adding sonic layers until everyone's drawn in to her swinging soul and blazing talent.

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