Mountain Echo

Jodie Marie

Released: 5 March 2012

Genre: Pop

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We've heard Welsh singing prodigies before, but Jodie Marie isn't shamed by comparison with the Duffys and Churches of this world.

Only just 20 years old, Jodie has in fact taken the Duffy route – teaming up with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler to create a stylishly dated set that places her comfortably in Radio 2 territory but has enough soulful vim to creep further.

Her real asset is a voice that makes a mockery of her youth. It has the fruitiness of 60s country singer Bobbie Gentry, but is larger and lusher, capable of carrying the Bond theme drama of I Got You or kicking back on the girl-group twinkle of Dandelion Wishes. There's even a drawling, sexy edge as she tackles On The Road's southern-fried groove and Greeney-Blue's shimmering early rock'n'roll guitar.

If there are misgivings about Mountain Echo, they're in its well-worn, focus-grouped approach – goodness knows we've heard enough "sophisticated" jazz-blues like Shadows Of Rain in a world where Adele rules supreme. But the album redeems itself with the odd surprise, not least a title track where Jodie's vocal bursts beautifully into the slow, still void and hangs there like perfume.

With a bit more adventure to the arrangements, this debut could be something special. As it is, with a voice like this, Jodie Marie can promise that later.

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