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Rise by Samantha James
Released: Sep 2007
Label: OM Records
Samantha James' long player is easily misjudged, sounding on first pass like a frothy, lightweight pop-house confection, but it gradually reveals depth, particularly with "Rain" and the lushly produced "Deep Surprise." Credit must also be given to James' producer, Sebastian Arocha Morton -- late of Fila Brazilia, Fischerspooner and Sting -- for making this carefully honed and intricately produced debut sound effortless, laid-back and carefree.
Nicholas Baker