Album review: Gabrielle Aplin – English Rain

Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain

Gabrielle Aplin - English Rain - Credit: Archant

The 20-year-old’s first record reveals an artist with some promise – but only time will tell if it’s enough.

This young Bath singer-songwriter stumbled into the limelight last year when her cover of Frankie’s The Power Of Love, which graced the John Lewis’ Christmas ad, surged to the number one spot.

It appears here in similarly pretty company, its violins and piano joined by acoustic guitar and gentle forays into love balladry with some nice lyrical turns now and again.

Please Don’t Say You Love Me is a genteel warning to would-be suitors wrapped in a pleasant enough, plodding country-folk blanket, where she warns that “under pressure precious things can break”.

But it can be an effort finding the glints of promise and talent amid some decidedly pedestrian arrangements (Salvation’s surges are undermined by wishy-washy melody), which frankly aren’t helped by her porcelain voice.

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When she puts her back into it though, the dividends come; her gossamer vocals sound great set against Home and the more forceful Ready To Question’s backing choir, for example. Not a bad first stab, but hardly essential.

3 stars

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