Alice Russell is a rhythm and blues vocalist who’s capable of sounding good regardless of what sub-category of that genre she’s working in. The popularity of Amy Winehouse has opened up a lot of commercial possibilities for singers like Russell, and it’s probably not a coincidence that Pot of Gold opens with a couple of slices of soul (“Turn and Run,” “Two Steps”) that’ll click with Winehouse fans.

Russell, however, has a greater vocal range than Winehouse, and she slides into a super-funky groove for “Living the Life of a Dreamer,” a tune that would be right at home in the Chaka Khan or Tina Turner songbooks. “Got the Hunger?” is a call for people to get off their butts and work for social change, but you have to pay close attention to pick up on that; Russell’s delivery is so passionate that you’d swear that what she’s hungry for has more to do with carnal delight.

A similar simmer is embodied in Russell’s version of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” but she sounds just as sensual when she completely shifts gears for the airy Brazilian jazz of “Universe.”

Grade: A



Pot of Gold is currently available.