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ALBUM REVIEW: Sophie Barker – Break the Habit

Sophie Barker has a voice I fell in love with,some years ago, although it took me some time to find out her name. She was one of three female lead vocalists with those laid-back masters of trip-hop, down-tempo grooviness, Zero 7, singing on tracks such as Destiny and In Time. Since them she has released several solo albums and Break The Habit, her third, is for me the most accomplished. The variety of approaches probably reflects the four years that this album has taken to record, and it’s been worth the wait. The title track is a sultry, shimmering ballad with haunting and hypnotic vocals, in direct contrast to what you might have expected if you heard the first single, I Do It To Myself, which is the most up-tempo track on here. One track that floored me was a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic track, Gold Dust Woman, which sits in the midst of this album like a perfectly placed jewel. It reminded me why, in their time, they made some of the most listenable music on the entire planet, and Sophie’s version is a stunner. Let’s Start Again is possibly my favourite track, as it has the most unusual instrumentation, and yet is the tracks that had me hitting repeat more than any other. She’s moved on from selling millions of records singing with the likes of David Guetta, Groove Armada and of course, Zero 7, and now Sophie Barker is carving a real career of her own,and getting the recognition she deserves.

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