It's been 15 years since Basia Trzetrzelewska and her partner and collaborator Danny White issued the criminally under-heralded The Sweetest Illusion, her final album for Epic. Since that time, she's popped up on a few instrumental mix albums and as a guest vocalist on Matt Bianco's Matt's Mood, but other than compilations, this wonderfully inventive singer and songwriter of adult contemporary music disappeared from the scene. It's That Girl Again showcases the Polish songstress in a variety of settings over 13 new tracks. A host of crack session players join her core band, including White -- her co-writer on most tunes -- Mark Reilly, guitarist Peter White, and a chorus made up of Basia's family and friends. The set opens with "If Not Now Then When," a clever reintroduction to Basia's sound with a slew of new ideas including the use of bossa nova rhythms. Guitars and acoustic keyboards permeate the mix rather than some of the more synthetic '80s and '90s sounds of her earlier records. The lyrics are the same, positive, emotive tomes about honesty, fulfillment, intimacy, and determination she has always employed. "A Gift" is a surprisingly candid tune, about taking another's love for granted and becoming aware of the error before it's too late. The languid acoustic and electric guitars, the gently skittering loops and hand percussion all flavor a lyric of uncommon candor. "Everybody's on the Move" is true, big dancefloor modern funk that is ripe for dozens of remixes. In essence, while on some level hers is a sound close to the one that garnered her platinum album sales in decades past, there is plenty that is new here, including much more sophisticated rhythms, a more adventurous use of Latin, jazz, and Brazilian (particularly the latter) styles as they meld seamlessly with her brand of Eastern European pop, and a more poetic and focused way of writing lyrics, all wrapped up in that gorgeous voice of hers and in White's arrangements. This is as welcome a comeback record as any we've heard in recent years. In fact, It's That Girl Again goes so far as to make us remember just how much we missed her in the first place.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek