Rumer: B-Sides & Rarities Vol 2 – Decent collection of offcuts

Rarities & B-Sides Vol. 2
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Artist: Rumer
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Cooking Vinyl

Collections of odds and ends are often a slapdash miscellany released in one disordered glut. The fact that Rumer has separated her rarities and b-sides into two volumes attests to her considered approach to songs and songwriting. The British artist first came to prominence in 2010. She has since gained renown as a masterful translator of others' work and has compiled the best of those covers here, alongside two original songs, Roses and Old-Fashioned Girl. Both sit snugly alongside the classic 1970s rich thread that flows through this collection, with the evocative late-night vibe of Roses contrasting with the lazy sunny afternoon jazzy rollick of Old-Fashioned Girl.

Touch of melancholy

Elsewhere, her take on Elton John's Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters adds a touch of melancholy to the tracklist, while the sumptuous string arrangements on Carly Simon's You're the One is swoonsome. Rumer's pensive vocal style is undoubtedly best-suited to a more poignant breed of song; Burt Bacharach and Hal David's The Windows of the World is a standout, evoking Karen Carpenter at her most contemplative, while she channels Dusty Springfield on the flirtatious Wives and Lovers. Her version of Van Morrison's playful I Wanna Roo You is less convincing by comparison, while Hugh Prestwood's Never Arrive sounds a little ordinary. Still, as a collection of so-called offcuts go, this hits the sweet spot more often than not.