It’s hard to find a pop rock album that has a real sense of soul these days. So imagine my surprise in finding not only silky smooth vocals, but also poetic lyrics backed by exquisite music on A Little Happiness.

A female mix of John Mayer and Jason Mraz, Allen’s brand of guitar- (and some-times piano) laced pop runs the gamut from the upbeat “Change in Weather” to the Gothic- and Gospel-tinged “Calling the Maker” and even a pretty cover of Sublime’s “Santeria.” While her lyrics are well constructed, the songs seem to have tried-and-true themes (love and the pain of breakups, mostly) with no inno-vation; but you can feel the emotion pouring out through the speakers, and her voice is perfect on every track.

Grade: A+

A Little Happiness is currently available.