Singer songwriter and cellist Izzi Dunn arrives with serious credentials, recent collaborations and tours with Gorillaz, Roots Manuva and Mark Ronson. On Cries and Smiles, a smooth confident album from start to finish, this slice of R&B and stylish jazz soul is brilliantly delivered and could see her kick into the mainstream.
The single Nothing But Love is a well produced high end song, co-written with house producer Tom Middleton that could be a smash in the US. On Loser, a collaboration with Booty Brown, who Izzi met when on tour with The Gorilallaz shows an eye for contemporary pop. Then we hear her adaptability with a stripped down atmospheric track called Kill Me Slow reminiscent in melody to Amy Winehouse and in vibe, to Portishead.
There are some great punchy soul string parts and clever ideas throughout that remind you of albums by Prince and Chaka Khan. As well as talented pals, Izzi clearly brings insight and a great record collection to the studio. On Analogue Girl she’s reading my mind. My favourite song by far. I agree completely, longing for the golden age when things were simple and Beta Max king! 'I like old cassettes and dusty 45’s' sings Izzi, tongue warbling firmly in her cheek.
What has to be said at this point is this isn’t normally my favourite musical genre. I don’t do modern R&B, preferring to go to the source; Curtis Mayfield. So if this old Ramones fan is excited then she’s definitely on to a mainstream winner.
Review by Charlie Brown