Personnel: Lulu (vocals, background vocals); Louis Riccardi (guitar, background vocals); Matt White (guitar); Vasilis Xenopoulos (saxophone); Joe Morris (trumpet); Nick Mills (trombone); Dan Carpenter, Sean Freeman , Nicol Thompson (horns); Richard Cardwell (piano, keyboards, drums, percussion, programming, background vocals); Troy Miller, Geoff Dugmore (drums, percussion); Peter Gordeno, Hayley Sanderson, Annabel Williams, Edwina Reason, Billy Lawrie (background vocals).
Recording information: Church Road Studio, Barnes; The Engine Rooms, London.
Photographer: Paul Cox .
Arriving ten years after Lulu's impressive 2004 comeback Back on Track, 2015's Making Life Rhyme is every bit that record's equal and perhaps it's better in some ways. Working from a set of nearly all-original material for the first time ever -- there are two covers among these 11 songs, including Jimi Hendrix's "Angel" done in the style of Rod Stewart's covers -- Lulu sounds free and inspired by the retro-soul revivals of the past decade. In a sense, the success of Adele and Amy Winehouse has freed Lulu to indulge her love of old-fashioned girl group pop and hopping Tamla-Motown, but there's also a fair amount of bluesy grit here, surfacing even on the buoyant bounce of "Every Single Day." This is evidence of how Lulu doesn't play a strict stylistic revivalist here: she's blurring the lines between R&B and Brill Building, soul and girl group pop, coming up with a vivid, spirited record that ranks among her very best. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine