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Malaya Blue: Heartsick (MBM)

Big-voiced British blues rock singer takes charge.

Malaya Blue made an impact with her debut album Bourbon Street in 2014. This, her follow-up, confirms her quality. Unfortunately, the title track – which opens proceedings – is bludgeoning, generic blues rock. Things improve immediately with the soulful Hunny Little Day Dream allowing Blue’s expressive voice to shine.

Colour Blind finds a jazzy tinge coming into the music. Let’s Reinvent Love is even better, with Malaya in sultry Etta James mode and Paul Jones blowing evocative harmonica. I Have Arrived is upbeat and gospel-flavoured; Strand Of Gold languid and lovely. Blue is a strong vocalist (Amy and Adele are both evident influences) if still finding her musical direction and developing as a songwriter. There’s much to like here (outside the title track).