Caro Emerald – “Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor”

Caro Emerald

Happy weekend, readers! If you’ve been looking for the next great jazz-pop act to stimulate your love of music and get you grooving, look no further than Caro Emerald, who is the Netherlands’ pop savior of the moment. This album is long overdue for anyone who happens to have been lucky enough to have been hearing her music on European radio since 2009, providing a solid home for smash hits “A Night Like This” and “Back It Up.” But the rest of the album is as good or better than the singles, providing listeners with multi-layered jazz-pop that swings with the best of ’em.

Comparisons to Amy Winehouse of course are going to be constant, but Caro Emerald hardly deserves to be lumped in with Winehouse and then pigeonholed. This is more than just a pale Mark Ronson-helmed imitation . . . rather, it’s a deftly composed merger of crossover vocal jazz with contemporary neo-soul, hearkening more to Portishead, with a nod to Sergio Mendez for good measure.

The singles are great, but the classiest reasons to love Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor are the insanely good album tracks. “Riviera Life” is a modern-pop miracle, bringing a touch of true latin flavor to the mix, her smooth sultry vocals floating atop the waves of subtle, sunny horns, keyboards and taut percussion. “The Other Woman,” meanwhile, opens with light marimba tones and a touch of percussion before the big fat bassline kicks in and her vocals illustrate why she’s clearly a far more talented performer than anyone she’s being compared to.

If you’re looking for the best pop album of 2010 to still be slithering around the outer edges of American mainstream, you can stop looking — this album is a real stunner that deserves to be heard far more widely in the States than it has been. For once European pop fans have gotten the nail right on the head. You won’t find a better way to spend your music dollar than this in the genre. If you can’t bear to listen to the likes of Lady Gaga, here’s your antidote!

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