Laura Rain and the Caesars

Without doubt a fine bit of work here. Soul-blues with some decidedly deft guitar touches from producer and fret man George Friend. The sultry cover-shot is both colourful and enticing. And fortunately the eleven tracks inside cough-up in musical terms, with a promising exhibition of lyrics and music composed by both Rain herself and guitarist Friend. Pacing is varied and material is generally good enough to keep the interest from flagging. However, in some ways this remains one of those albums that have little fresh or genuinely different enough to make most blues-lovers tingle or reach for the repeat button, I fear. It’s definitely good, well-produced and conceived, as it should be given Rain’s pedigree as a Detroit soul singer with over a decade of gigging behind her. A classically trained Soprano, she has the vocal strength and ability to pull this otherwise possibly unmemorable release out of the shadows. I’m going to be deliberately contradictory now and say that for me Closer sadly lacks that little something special that makes it particularly memorable or desirable. Having said that, I personally enjoyed it, but more as a sort of background noise offering. Not Muzak but not strikingly special either.