“These are new beginnings,” coos Blackpool native Rachelle Morris early on the follow-up to 2015’s hyped but nonetheless lukewarm Unguarded. “Find another name for me,” she continues, her voice giddy with excitement, much like Dolores O’Riordan’s in more guileless times.

Then, finally, she declares “I am reborn!”, but she is, to be honest, overstating her case, something reflected by how, now she’s calmed down a little, she still calls herself Rae.

“It’s true, however, that she’s come a long way: Someone Out There is definitely not the work of the young woman whose early, meticulously polite over-eagerness to please caught the ear of the similarly-minded Chris Martin.” – Wyndham Wallace

Though she and Ben Garrett aka Fryars – who takes production reins for much of this album – have collaborated before, it’s tempting to credit him for the development. This, however, appears to be very much a team effort, and if there’s chemistry in the air – especially on spine-tingling, bittersweet opener, Push Me To My Limit – it’s not from any pop formulas provided by the throng of additional producers.

Instead, it’s in the sparks fl ying between Garrett and Morris, who were apparently – by the end of the process – making sweet music beyond the studio walls, too. In fact, a prurient soul might speculate that these are the “new beginnings” about which Morris is so thrilled, before reading even more into her lyrics: “We could write another duet,” she sings mischievously on the joyous Do It, “Or instead we could just do it!”

On the more amatory Lower The Tone, too, she announces seductively “I’m done with conversation”, while, by Dip My Toe, the flirting’s reached an inevitable climax: “Doing it for the first time/ We better hope our bodies rhyme”. It definitely seems something clicked.

Morris is radiant on the tropically-flavoured Atletico (The Only One), as well as other more conventional numbers, like Wait For The Rain, whose superfluous vocal effects can’t detract from its grandiose inclinations, and Physical Form, whose emphatic piano chords and swooping vocals recall Kate Bush. But it’s subtler tunes – the title track’s empathetic, Sliding Doors scenario, or the persuasively sappy Rose Garden – which ensure this is a mature and consequently more satisfying return. It doesn’t exactly herald a new dawn, but it signals Morris’ coming of age.

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