Alice Russell Under the Munka Moon

When you first hear this woman’s unbelievable vocals you’ll be surprised to find, behind the curtain, a little white girl named Alice Russell. She’s lent her soulful delivery on a handful of joints by TM Juke and Quantic, making their most recent albums some of the most notable moments in music this year. Under the Munka Moon finally delivers the debut recording that many fans of this songstress have been waiting for, sort of. Grabbing tracks that she has previously recorded with Quantic and Natureboy, Russell has pieced together a compilation that ropes in all the work she’s given life to in the past couple of years, which doesn’t hinder this record in the slightest, especially considering most of these numbers have been reworked. You get a sense of the mass amounts of soul that Russell has running in her blood within the very first delivery of the stunning "Hurry On Now” with TM Juke on production. Though the moment happens at the very beginning, this gospel number is the highlight of Under the Munka Moon, but that’s not to say there aren’t more goods in store. "Hard Times” is a very lush head-nodding ballad and the Natureboy lounge-destined "Sweet Is the Air” seems a little out of place, but can’t be denied as being as sexy composition. The balance between electronic stunners such as "Peace Resides,” with Kushti, and live acoustic vibes such as "Tired Little One,” blend together fine because the producers come from a camp that has a knack for organic sampling. Alice Russell has been a strong voice in the UK for a few years now and this compilation is a very impressive sign for when she drops her proper record next year. She deserves to be bigger than the average American diva. (Tru Thoughts)