Album Review: Rumer – This Girl’s In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook
Cover albums aren’t a new concept to Rumer. Her second studio album Boys Don’t Cry selected songs written by men, rather than including any original material. While Into Colour saw her returning to original material, she’s once again tackling covers. Enter This Girl’s In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook, an album she claimed she couldn’t record five years ago, but one that certainly benefits from the experiences she’s had since it first entered her mind.
As its title implies, This Girl’s In Love takes songs from Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s discography and twists them into Rumer’s own style, faithful yet different where it works best. It’s no surprise that the album came out so well, though; her producer husband, Rob Shirakbari, was once Bacharach’s musical director and arranger, and his expertise with these songs is evident across the album. There’s a balance between Rumer’s soulful, easy listening sound and the original iconic Bacharach arrangements that keeps everything respectful and faithful.
Even aside from the benefit of her producer’s experience, however, Rumer herself sits beautifully beside these songs. Her voice is especially helpful on her take of The Carpenter’s (They Long To Be) Close To You, a swelling track with strings and piano backing up Rumer’s deep, calming vocals, and she sounds just as good alongside the less grandiose, peppier songs like Are You There (With Another Girl) as well. The jazz arrangements on the album, namely Walk On By and You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) meld to her voice perfectly, and it’s clear that the time she took to develop her emotional palette before recording this album paid off. She evokes each song perfectly, and makes them her own without making it so obvious that their legacy is forgotten.
Given the quality and legacy of Bacharach and David’s music, there’s always extra pressure to nail the cover to avoid the ire of dedicated fans. Thankfully, with both an advantageous producer on her side and her natural talents, Rumer pulls these songs off gloriously, and the top notch, varied selection of songs means there’s never a moment where the album falters or stumbles. Fans of Bacharach can rest assured; This Girl’s In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook is a faithful, respectful selection of covers pulled off by an artist with the reverence and ability necessary to make it amazing.