Sharleen Spiteri

Melody

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It's hard not to see Sharleen Spiteri's first solo album Melody as some kind of reaction to the success of British retro-soul divas Amy Winehouse and Duffy, singers who expanded upon the blend of Motown and Dusty Sharleen sketched out with Texas in the '90s, turning it into something a little bit sexier, something a little bit more modern. Spiteri's response is to scale back the creeping upscale digital sheen of latter-day Texas records and get thoroughly '60s on Melody, crafting a full-fledged re-creation of the sound of soulful, swinging London. Strings sigh, horns glide, Spiteri is supported by girl groups as she sings sprightly melodies that often bring to mind Dusty at her prime, but she also cops a bit of Nancy Sinatra's on "I'm Going to Haunt You." There may be some slight modern flair in the drum loops of the title track, but Melody is noteworthy in its retro purity: it's a sleek yet warm tribute to classic '60s pop, sounding richer and fuller than almost anything Texas did after turning into U.K. stars.

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