Rare Bird


Much in the same way Amy Winehouse played on ’60s soul and girl-group sounds, Jaime Whitton draws on ’40s jazz, positioning herself as a kind of Billie Holiday—minus the tragic undertones of either Winehouse or Holiday—for modern pop audiences. Whitton keeps her retro references subtle, using just enough tinkling piano, warbled phrasing and quacking brass to glance backward without risking whiplash. The style is inherently playful, making the gin-joint romp “B Sting” far and away the disc’s brightest moment. But the Reno native is also handy with a ballad, as she proves on the ace closer “Better Days,” a hopeful look to the future that echoes the best of the past.

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