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Since Lisa Stansfield’s heyday there has been a vogue for young soul singers with big, older-sounding voices, the likes of Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and Adele. Meanwhile Stansfield, one of their progenitors, has grown older and drifted to the margins, a sidelining that gives an extra frisson to her role in “The Crown” of a hard-bitten wife imperiously slapping down a younger pretender: “Don’t pretend you’re a woman, little girl.”
Her first album in 10 years finds the Rochdale singer in fine voice, as expressive as ever, as she negotiates an unadventurous but classy terrain of old-fashioned soul and orchestral pop while addressing the sort of subjects – self-reproach, self-acceptance, divorce – that it helps to have lived a little to know about.
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