Into Colour

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Rumer's third full-length album, 2014's Into Colour, once again finds the British singer/songwriter delving into a batch of '60s and '70s soft pop-influenced songs. Although Into Colour follows up her equally-as-vintage-sounding covers album, 2012's Boy's Don't Cry, here Rumer eschews the cover songs in favor of very personal, all-original material. Collaborating with her boyfriend, producer/arranger/songwriter Rob Shirakbari, who fittingly built his reputation working with such icons of AM pop as Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach, Rumer has crafted an album that retains all of her vintage inclinations without ever falling into retro kitsch. There is an added emotional weight and a sense that something more than a well-constructed melody is at stake on Into Colour. Some of this might stem from the fact that Rumer (who publicly revealed in 2012 that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD) suffered stage anxiety, as well as a miscarriage before embarking on this album. Not surprisingly, there is a melancholy tone to much of the material on Into Colour. However, whether she is ruminating over an ex-boyfriend as she does on "Sam," or working through her feelings of loss after her miscarriage as on "Butterfly," Rumer's measured, lyrical songs never get mired in sadness, and instead stay afloat on her warm, enveloping vocals and melodies that stick with you long after the song is over. Similarly, the buoyant and childlike "Pizza and Pinball," with its breezy melody that harks back to Kite's Are Fun-era Free Design, and the shimmery, orchestral disco anthem "Dangerous," are romantic, widescreen pop affirmations. Ultimately, although colored by personal trauma, Into Colour remains one of Rumer's brightest, most enjoyable albums to date.

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