Yola will have to do something special to stand out from other Nu Soul divas around at the moment.
From the moment the Bacharach touched ‘Faraway Look‘ appears, she distances herself from contemporaries, this opener allows her to soar too, an important statement to make early on and when she melds her Country inclination with that 60’s cabaret feel on ‘Lonely The Night‘, it’s stupendous. Ditto the Blues influence under Soul ‘Still Gone‘; the purity of ‘Love Is Life‘ is like a refreshing stream too, even better when the gitter ball cranks up and the spotlight hits in the chorus.
Some of this is simply pleasant, but when the 70’s sounds and Country airs calm ‘Ride Out In The Country‘, the atmosphere is lovely, but the downtown hoedown of the title track makes that walk sound workaday. Better is the sumptous 70’s radio 2 chart Country hit ‘I Don’t Wanna Lie’ and her work with notables like The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who contrubuted to the writing here, is never a heavy hand, what might be is the nod of thanks to vocal supporter Elton John by delivering a faithful ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’.
Rival Sons’ Jay Buchanan apparently loves Yola’s voice and she’s got a beautifully connected and very direct appeal, that’s very hard to achieve. And this conglomeration of Country and faded variety grandeur really works, when it works. But it still deserves all the plaudits it will surely receive.
Out On Easy Eye Sound
Remedy Rating : 4/5 Mixing The Meds