A truly stunning debut album, Seasons Of My Soul showcases the exceptional talent of Sarah Joyce, aka Rumer, whose fine voice and songwriting ability blends together the beauty and melancholy of Karen Carpenter and the luscious, soulful seductiveness of Sade.
Rumer's effortless, mature, Karen Carpenter-like vocal is evidenced right from the albums' opening track, 'Am I Forgiven', where her beautiful singing sounds clear over a well-produced easy listening pop band backing. Perfectly complimented by smooth strings, occasional bell-like flourishes from glockenspiel and vibraphone and a gentle flugelhorn solo, 'Am I Forgiven' immediately announces Seasons Of My Soul as a divine offering.
With laid back 6/8 feel, brushed drums and a smooth bed of piano and Rhodes accompaniment, 'Come To Me High' evidences the mellow seductiveness of Sade with Rumer's alluring and graceful vocals swooping over layers of self-provided backing vocals and subtle, sensitive solo viola. Former single 'Slow' starts with Rumer's beautiful vocals over a sparse and sensitive accompaniment of piano, bass and harp before the drums kick in and the track lilts forward in a mellow, easy-on-the-ears blend. The same wistful and questioning, romantic lyrics are evidenced, like much of Seasons Of My Soul, in the string drenched 'Take Me As I Am'.
Rumer's October-released single, 'Aretha', is a soulful bluesy number taking inspiration from Aretha Franklin; its' sensitive and heartfelt instrumentation bracketing a brief, more driven shuffle blues interception, is again perfectly complimentary to Rumer's meaningful vocals. Then, from the dreamy piano and gentle double bass of the pleasant, uplifting number, 'Thankful', through the album's sparsely accompanied highlight, 'Healer', to its' wonderful Carpenters-esque conclusion, 'Goodbye Girl', complete with gentle harmonica suggestions and smooth string accompaniment; Seasons Of My Soul offers little in the way of variety, but instead a pure and effortless, inoffensive and consistently high standard blend. An outstanding debut.