By the time of third album “Things To Make And Do”, songs like “Absent Minded Friends” and particularly “The Time Is Now” showed her as an artist of real emotion but without losing her edge. But her crowning glory came, ironically, in the groups final album “Statues”, in essence a modern update of ABBA’s “Voluez-Vous” album, dealing with the personal and professional fall-out from end of her relationship with Brydon, and her most upfront lyrics yet, the album closing on “I Want You”, a song about the confusion of a partnership ending and being in limbo, and speed dating “Over And Over”, a lush string-led ballad. As a soloist she has been equally as individual; debut offering “Ruby Blue” confusing as many people as it pleased, based of minimalist beats and tribal drums, and featuring the wonderfully teasing single “If We’re In Love”. For now though, she seems to have finally found her niche as an adult dance-pop artist,, which is not as anachronistic as it may sound; second album “Overpowered” showing more prominent singers such as Kylie Minogue and Sophie Ellis-Bextor how it should be done. And what’s not to love about an artist who can turn a greasy-spoon cafe into a one woman nightclub in a video and still be cool?
Gene Pitney: A true one of a kind, Pitney for some still remains an acquired taste: instantly recognisable vocal stylings and red-blooded passion, but resoundingly un-macho in delivery: this was a man unafraid to show it all. Songs like “I’m Gonna Be Strong” and “Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa” proving that male failings need not end up as Elvis-style gloop-fests of the time. “Town Without Pity” is undoubtedly one his “signiature” songs, but one than stand repeated listens due to the deceptively simple arrangement, and some truly emotionally complex vocals: this is a man in a doomed love affair that just wants redemption (“Why don’t they help us?/Really help us?”) at any cost. But for most, his stand-out is “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My heart”, where he reaches his natural conclusion,; after those years searching, he has found the love he needs, and this is one of the most outright jaw-dropping declarations ever recorded, not for the faint-hearted as he howls “You touch me and my heart goes astray” for the world to hear. And, in a touching final flourish, the re-recording of this track with Marc Almond sees him passing on the baton of “World’s Foremost Torch Singer” in style; a man of little ego, but much talent.