Rebecca Ferguson, Susanna And Ensemble Neon and Archie Shepp: New albums we’ve rated

29 Nov


Rebecca Ferguson: Freedom
3 star rating
It’s hard not to be struck by the quality of Rebecca Ferguson’s voice: smoky, steeped in emotion and somehow more seasoned than her years. It also surpasses the safe retro-soul productions on the follow-up to her well-received 2011 debut album Heaven. Ferguson exudes power and grace on numbers such as I Hope but these songs are stuffed with over-worn romantic metaphors and even a smooth cameo from John Legend feels predictable. Freedom’s title track is a rather subdued finale. Ferguson is presented as a showgirl-next-door but she sings like she has the guts to be much more.

Susanna and Ensemble Neon: The Forester
3 star rating
Norwegian Susanna Wallumrød works in an intriguing variety of genres, including electronica, ambient jazz and early music. She’s best known for her coma-paced versions of unlikely songs (Joy Division, Thin Lizzy, Dolly Parton) with her electro-acoustic Magical Orchestra. This project places her…

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