Phenomenal Soulful Voice: Alice Russell - Living the Life of a Dreamer - Pot Of Gold

Alice's demand as a vocalist has gained an enviable reputation as one of the UK's hottest singers, recording with the likes of Massive Attack, The Roots, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Mr Scruff, Roy Ayres, and De La Soul . 
Blessed with a lavishly soulful voice, Alice's sound is modern, but firmly rooted in the past. Although her style is predominantly bluesy and soul lament it also encompasses everything from funk to Gospel to Jazz and beyond.

Her 4th album "Pot of Gold" is produced once more by TM Duke which is a serious credit in itself, but many of the songs could've been crafted by the Motown legend Berry Gordy when heard. Alice Russell shows off an impressive array of vocal chops, conjuring up the wails of divas like Chaka Khan and Patti LaBelle. 
Russell isn’t afraid to use hints of her British accent as an asset and Russell’s band,from the horn section, to the bassist- Alex Cowen, to violinist- Mike Simmons truly feel what they are putting down on tape and have enough versatility to offer something more than your average Neo-Soul house band.

“Let Us Be Loving” grooves with an electronic beeping that recalls Grace Jones and is our first indicator that Pot of Gold strives to do more than rehash the mid-70s. One minute you’re wooed by the klezmer fiddle of “Lights Went Out,” and before you know it you’re bobbing your head to the Stevie-groove of “Hesitate” or sipping the Acid-Jazz juice of “Universe”. 

From there, she jumps to a bit of Afro-beat on "Living the Life of a Dreamer". The varied production keeps Pot of Gold fresh for its duration as Russell’s consistent yet still stylistically eclectic vocals ensure that the album never feels scattered.

Perhaps the highlight of Pot of Gold is what should be a head-scratching cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” I mean really, isn’t covering a song as overplayed as “Crazy,” almost like covering the “Macarena”? 
But Russell’s performance turns the whole track on its head, slowing down the tempo even more than the original to crank out a gradually burning hurricane that’s barely recognizable as the “Crazy” we all overplayed a few years back.

Will this album have any staying power for years to come? Who knows? But for an alternate musical pill to the Joss Stones and Adele's of the world of British “Soul", Pot of Gold is mighty tasty for now. And damn can that girl sing ;) If you ever read this Miss Russell…Thank you and please don't stop !!!

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