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.


Christian Cottingham


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