Ria Mae – Ria Mae (2016)

The Canadian singer’s debut album is a lush, gorgeous and soothing affair, not unlike early Adele or Amy Winehouse but with a softer, more gentle touch. Although there are clear radio-friendly stand-outs like singles “Clothes Off” and “Gold” that recall Justin Timberlake’s gender-fluid vocals and style, it’s the more quiet songs – like “Thoughts on Fire” and “Leaving Today” – that allow the album to demarcate itself as something special. While it never reaches the highs of Adele’s “21” or Winehouse’s “Frank,” it nevertheless makes for a perfectly pleasant and promising 45-minute introduction to a new and exciting talent.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)


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