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Rumer, B Sides and Rarities
In an age where a lot of music relies on multiple layers of electronic adornments, there is something refreshing about an artists whose music stands or falls based solely on the quality of their voice. That is part of the reason why B Sides and Rarities by Rumer – also known as Sarah Joyce – stands out.
Featuring, as the title would suggest, a series of cover versions and live performances, the album invokes memories of pop from a bygone age when songs penned by Burt Bacharach ruled the roost. Indeed, the first track is a cover of the Bacharach co-written Arthur’s Theme from the hit 1981 film Arthur which Rumer does a fantastic job of reimagining.
A live version of Moon River highlights the softness of Rumer’s vocal ability and suggests that frequent comparisons to Karen Carpenter are not too far of the mark. A beautiful rendition of the late Cilla Black’s Alfie cements that impression.
A smattering of guests singers join Rumer for the record, including Dionne Warwick, Stephen Bishop and Michael Feinstein, but she is at her best when left alone to showcase the light and shade of her range.
While Rumer’s sultry tones are undeniably enchanting, anyone looking for toe-tapping music might want to look elsewhere as the orchestral backing of closing track I Believe In You the only time the pace rises above a slow crawl. For everyone else, the simplicity of a beautiful voice floating gracefully over some classic songs will delightfully while away a slow Sunday afternoon.