Label: Aphrodite Music / Rainwater Recordings
Despite modest buzz, Alice Smith's 2007 debut flew by virtually unnoticed. But the rise of similar iconoclasts like Lianne La Havas gives her new context. Deviating from the snoozy neo-soul playbook, Smith toys with genre on She, from stark folk that quickly shifts into electro-pop on "Ocean" to the warm downtempo of "The One." She has a light and supple voice that makes her games seem substantial, not dilettantish. At one point, she covers Melanie Fiona and Cee-Lo's hit "Fool for You," perhaps winking at how she's long made the kind of music Fiona does now.