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Alice Russell: To Dust (Tru Thoughts)

If some of the many who have invested in Emeli Sande's Our Version of Events are seduced by the superficial similarity in the monochrome sleeve image and the contemporary blonde quiff Alice Russell sports here, I doubt they will be disappointed.

Russell and her writing partner Alex Cowan, who trades as TM Juke, have honed their songsmithery to a pinnacle that justifies the obvious debt they owe to Prince. In fact, in the absence of the Minneapolis minx at the top of his game, the seductive two-note riff and layered production of For A While will do just fine.

With crucial third collaborator Luke Buttery providing fine soulful piano throughout, this is an eloquent break-up album that boasts many ear-catching lines, like the title-track's "the more I pay/the less I feel", in its telling of a tale from A to Z.

The narrative carries you over the horn-dappled jazzy groove of Twin Peaks to the memo-to-self that is Let Go (Breakdown) and the realisation of Citizens that there are more important things in the world.

Its beguiling, hesitant piano figure is another example of how Russell and Cowan are mining a rich tradition.

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