Travelling Like The Light
Label: Universal-Island Records Ltd.
V.V. Brown gets lumped in with Amy Winehouse as a U.K. retro-soul gal, but her debut's catchiest breakup songs sound just as indebted to Suzi Quatro's rockabilly glam, Lily Allen's sing-songy summer sarcasm, and George Michael's '80s cleanup of Bo Diddley pop. She can get precious and cutesy, her nasal voice isn't made for deep soul emoting, and her tempos slow near album's end. But the quirkiness of her metaphors and handclap bounce of her hooks keep things playful: "Leave!," for instance, moves from an OutKast riff to roller-rink organ. She also quotes the Shangri-Las -- never a bad sign.