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It’s a brave move, letting Howe Gelb open your album, and his gravelled voiceover on ‘The Wheel’ threatens to overshadow everything that follows. But Berlin-based Brit Gemma Ray has much to offer on her sixth album besides collaborations, from country melancholy to high-wrought melodrama, blues-rock swagger to poppy hook.

Granted, this might not quite sustain the grip of its early minutes, but there’s a compelling cinema to Ray’s songs, from the arid heat-haze of ‘Desoto’ to the wayward organ of ‘Out In The Rain’ and the discordant psychedelica of ‘Motorbike’, even if the odd uninspired chorus or forgettable meander occasionally intrudes.

6/10

Christian Cottingham

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