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Helen Boulding New Red Dress Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

A well-written pop album full of feel good songs.

Talia Kraines 2008

With so many female singer songwriters out there it's hard not to get bogged down with only those hyped to the max. But New Red Dress comes as a pleasant surprise. Despite being young and straight out of Sheffield, she has managed to avoid getting swept along with the sounds of Pulp or Arctic Monkeys, instead breaking out with an altogether more classic female style. The result, a well-written pop album full of feel good songs.

Filled with warmth, New Red Dress proves that Helen's voice can handle either soft love songs like the tender Sleepwalking or head-tilting Copenhagen as easily as she can rock up the tempo with the swaggering What A Fool. Album opener Way To Go could have come straight off a Texas album from the mid '90s (it almost has those bells from Summer Sun in it) while the heartbreaking I Can't Stop Myself From Loving You sometimes echos Carole King. Joined by contemporary and classic songwriters like The Verve's Simon Tong, Squeeze's Chris Difford and Pink Floyd's Rick Wright on this release, it's not surprising that she manages to combine styles with ease.

This isn't for those of you looking for something daring or exciting. There's nothing dramatically new or remarkable here; instead it's a comforting warm listen that, with the right support could be spread all over your radio dials this summer.

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