Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Wanderlust

A grand and ambitious fifth collection...

After four albums of enjoyably poised if not especially permanent pop, Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s quite remarkable new record comes out of nowhere.

Bedecked with a bewitchingly gothic hue, these 11 pieces are grand and ambitious. Co-written, produced and arranged by Ed Harcourt, his grizzled indie-pop chops are all over these songs.

Ellis-Bextor has never been in finer voice, soaring across the glistening ‘Birth Of An Empire’ and a measure in restraint on the sincerely beautiful ballad ‘Young Blood’ (video below).

However, it is when a little of her co-writer’s Waits-ian ways pop up on the tumultuous ‘Cry To The Beat Of The Band’ that this album’s pedigree is fully asserted.

8/10

Words: Gareth James

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