Review: To Dust by Alice Russell

To Dust by Alice RussellWhen you think of soul music, you think of folks like Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross – or maybe the modern ones, like Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone. Some of the best vocalists of our time, yes, with songs that can go from gentle to powerful but all still having that certain quality of snap-snap independence. British soulstress Alice Russell has a spot alongside these greats – but what’s interesting about her is that she doesn’t need to sound sassy, that hard-to-define quality, to be powerful. The album starts out with a minute-long introduction that doesn’t go all out, and yet demonstrates the power and subtleties of Alice’s voice. The album may be a bit identikit soul (my exposure to Alice is in her collaborations with David Byrne and Mr. Scruff; I think she can do better than this) but there is a lot to enjoy in this album. This may be her first stab at bigger things; let her get on it, I say. | 4/5


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