I will confess that from a quick browse over her website I was entirely expecting some kind of Adele/Amy Winehouse clone. It brings me great joy to say I was more than proved wrong. Soaked through with soul, Hip-Hop and Old-Skool R&B influences (as well as a cheeky Dubstep-esque bonus track). Produced with a noticeable professionalism by one Leonardo Mockridge. This is an EP that is so much more than I could have anticipated.
The first track, entitled “We Are All The Same” would not seem out of place on one of the many commercial pop radio stations. It’s no technical masterpiece, simply written but a fantastic vocal performance and meaningful lyrics, full of soul, backed by fresh Hip-Hop drums and a rising chord sequence reminiscent of some of the great soul records of the early nineties makes it a definite single release.
Take It Back reminds me of Vanessa Carlton’s classic piano tune; “A Thousand Miles”, maybe somewhat less cheesy, but with all the heart and honesty that made that song the huge hit it was. I will say this for Alice Amelia, listening to both tracks back to back, Alice’s vocal style is far superior. Maybe I’m a sucker for a British accent over the traditional ‘American whine’ sung over so many pop tracks.
There is a clear comparison to be made between Alice and the now world-renowned Adele (If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you need to get out more!). I think it comes from the power behind both vocalists singing style. Stylistically Adele has the ballads covered and it’s a good thing that Alice has clearly developed her own song-writing style, it’s a little more upbeat, a little more joyous and thank god Alice isn’t writing an entire album based around a recent break-up (something I think only Adele will ever get away with). No one really needs that much depression from a single record.
The final track “We Cry” is a modern dance tune and a half. Mixing that House-y polyrhythmic synth style that seems to be in every pop-hit these days with the Dubstep groove that has become so massively popular as well. The seamless mixing of two of pops phattest and most popular beats isn’t the most original concept. It is however subtle enough on this track to be tasteful. Alice’s vocals also bring something that very few dance tracks manage; real soul. It’s the one consistent thing on a four-track EP that moves seamlessly through the major popular genres of the last fifteen years.
I’ve left the second track on the EP till last, for one specific reason: “No Good” is by far one of the best tracks I’ve heard from an act like this. The subtle instrumentation is fantastic, the drums and guitars and in all the right places and groove wonderfully under Alice’s vocals. The tempo-change at the chorus brings the funk out and it’s impossible not to bob your head along. Easily the stand-alone track off the record for me personally. I’m sure if you like going out dancing on a Friday night then “We Cry” will be your thing. And if you enjoy your more up-beat pop tracks then “We Are All the Same” will definitely appeal. This is the brilliance of this EP, there’s a little something for everybody, unified by the soulful message and vocal style Alice Amelia brings to each track. There may be only four but there is not one second of filler. Download it, buy it, check ‘em out live. It won’t be the last you’ve heard of this talented young woman.