Album Review: Rumer – B-Sides and Rarities
Easily one of the most captivating artists of the last ten years, we were first introduced to singer-songwriter Rumer back in 2010 when the musician released her debut album, Seasons of my Soul With its hit single, Slow, paving the way for the record, the collection gained the singer a lot of attention, not just for her astounding songsmith talents but for her uncanny vocal resemblance to the late Karen Carpenter. Claiming the nostalgic stylistic qualities of 70’s contemporary music as her own, she followed the debut up with her second album, the covers driven Boys Don’t Cry and then 2014’s original studio release, Into Colour.
With a few releases under her belt, it is unsurprising that the musician has more than her fair share of unreleased nuggets. In the writing and recording process it isn’t uncommon for artists to have a cutting room floor littered with potential singles or future album inclusions. Some artists spend some time on these releases and, like Rumer has with her latest collection, put these tracks together for release in a perfect little package for fans.
The appropriately titled B-Sides and Rarities, Rumer’s brand new collection, should speak for itself in terms of what listeners might expect here. These are tracks that have, for whatever reason, not quite made the final cut when Rumer was putting one of her 3 albums together. The tracks collated for the new release span the musicians career to date and include not just album outcuts but rare duets, live recordings and some memorable covers that are WELL worth the listen.
There are certain numbers within the record that shine and you can only wonder why they weren’t featured on one of her previous studio records or even released as a single. The first is the slow-paced trumpet and double bass driven Long Long Day which carries one of the most gorgeously draped melodies of any Rumer recording. Witty and ironic lines like “I sure been on this road for nearly fourteen years. Can’t say my names well-known. You don’t see my face in Rolling Stone” and “Don’t know what else to say, I hate to abuse an old cliché, but it’s been a long long day” implant themselves in your memory and you can’t help but press repeat on the track.
The musicians signature big band instrumentation is cast aside and stripped back for Soul Rebel, a syrupy, acoustic number led by guitar, a pulsating bass line which shows face periodically and some of the records most captivating backing vocals. The track is quite different to other songs featured on this compilation, or any previous studio album tracks in fact, but the style is an exceptional fit to the songbird’s whispery vocals.
A sweet duet with Stephen Bishop finds a spot in the middle of the record for Separate Lives while Hasbrook Heights pulls in some megastar power as Dionne Warwick joins Rumer on the early record inclusion.
Contrasting as they may be, in terms of the films themselves, Rumer also tackles a couple of movie theme songs with Tootsie tune It Might Be You sitting confidently beside fellow soundtrack inclusion, I Believe In You from Johnny English, with the latter containing one of the grandest instrumentations on the record.
The musician also has time for a cover in the stunning cover of George Harrison hit, Here Comes The Sun which is executed with precision and dedication from the first note to its closing strum.
The collection, like its creator, is simply exquisite. The vocals are clear and crisp as they interweave within a top quality production that is reserved for superstars. The orchestral backbone of the record further compliments the musicians whispery vocal style and help propel tracks within this new collection from formerly shadowed pennings to impressive numbers that stand alone with confidence and a declaration that they have arrived. This really is a must have collection for any Rumer fan or music fan alike.