Released the week after Amy Winehouse's shambolic performance in Belgrade sparked tabloid press reports that the end of her career was nigh, 15-year-old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield's sophomore effort, Good for the Soul, suggests the troubled diva could keep her Queen of Retro Soul crown in the family, should a follow-up to Back to Black fail to come to fruition. While the collection of faithful '60s covers on debut Introducing Dionne Bromfield showed little evidence she would have grabbed the limelight without her beneficial connections, her second effort is a surprisingly mature affair, with 14 original compositions (all but three of which Bromfield co-wrote) providing a contemporary twist to her previous vintage soul sound, whether it's the guest rap from Rev Run's son Diggy Simmons on the attitude-laden funk of lead single "Yeah Right," the urban slang of "I'm not muggin' myself off" on the trip-hop beats and girl group harmonies of "Foolin'," or the Girls Aloud-esque power pop vibes on the groovy closing track, "Move a Little Faster." While the Hammond organ-driven ska-pop of "Time Will Tell," the Wall of Sound-inspired production of "A Little Love," and string-soaked Motown of "Ouch That Hurt" all display the level of sassiness you'd expect from a teenage schoolgirl, it's the epic ballads, such as the Bacharach-esque lounge pop of "Too Soon to Call It Love" and the orchestral swooning of "Get Over It," that reveal how the cutesy, sugary, and girlish tones of her first offering have matured into something altogether more self-assured, powerful, and soulful, even if they understandably bear the nasal affectation of her godmother and label boss. Of course, through no fault of her own, Bromfield's tender years mean she hasn't had the life experience to quite convey the heartbreak of "Remember Our Love" or the emotive longing of "Don't Make It True," but the encouraging progression in just two years indicates that she'll be fully capable of encapsulating more autobiographical experiences in the future once her obsession with Justin Bieber and her school exam-juggling phase have passed.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien