We expect albums to have strong, singular themes, even though the artists that create them aren’t one-dimensional beings.Cries & Smiles, as its title suggests, has a dual identity: its jazzier, clubbier cuts sit alongside more chart-friendly soul singles.

So those of a funkier ilk will home in on Tits & Ass[email protected]*R Bitch and the title track. That leaves the tango-tinged Kill Me Slow and retro outings like Analogue Girl and Save Me for the more soul-leaning fans. Both types of tunes are fine, although it’s difficult to envisage the tastes of one camp overlapping with the other… until, that is, they stumble across the exquisite Nothing But Love, the best ballad of the year, hands down. It’s so astoundingly good, it’ll bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face.

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Album sample

 
Tits & Ass from the Cries & Smiles LP

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Izzi Dunn