Editors' pick

Alice Russell

Rhythm and Blues
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Editorial Review

Forget about Joss Stone. Or maybe you've forgotten already. That's cool. Natasha Bedingfield is nice. We're not mad at her, but she's no Alice Russell (listen). Amy Wino, well, just pray for her. Leona Lewis is no Alice Russell either. Basically, if you're following these British soul singing exports and you don't own an Alice Russell record, then you're on the remedial plan. Maybe it's because she doesn't have all the media hype that her compatriots have, but her bluesy ballad "Hurry On Now" did get some Starbucks love. The diminuitive belter has released three solo albums on the boutique label Tru Thoughts; recommending a favorite is too Solomonic a task, so just seek them all out. You'll be rewarded with addictive nuggets of electronica, jazz and blues delivered by a voice that can alternately raise rafters, soothe babies or bond lovers. Bonus fan points alotted for copping her releases with bossa nova and acid jazz outfit Bah Samba or her many collaborations with beat scientists like Re:Jazz or Quantic. Russell will be making her second Washington appearance at Bohemian Caverns tonight. The last time around she was overwhelmed that all these strangers knew all of her music and showered her with love. Her shyness didn't prevent her from bringing down the house, and this time it'll be like home.

-- Rhome Anderson (June 2008)