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Familia

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Review

Reuniting with collaborator Ed Harcourt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor offers an explicit sequel to the sophisticated cinematic pop of Wanderlust with Familia. Like that 2014 affair, Familia is lush and romantic, bearing a widescreen sensibility that contrasts nicely with Ellis-Bextor's natural reserve. She may be somewhat distant -- part of her charm is her glamorous remove; she doesn't beg the audience for its affection -- but she can scale the heights of Harcourt's arrangements, no matter if they're galloping neo-disco ("Wild Forever," "Come with Us") or overblown ballads ("Crystallise"). Much of Familia lies between these two extremes, but the midtempo adult alternative pop is sharp and clever: witness all the mariachi accents on "Hush Little Voices," something that finds a counterpart with the flamenco rhythms of the closer, "Don't Shy Away," or how "Here Comes the Rapture" maintains its tension via staccato strings. Familia is self-conscious, self-styled sophisticated pop, but its self-awareness is what makes it work: Ellis-Bextor and Harcourt work as hard at creating an alluring atmosphere as they do on the bones of the songs, and the result is striking and effective. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Wild Forever Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:21
  3. 2 Death of Love Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:19
  4. 3 Crystallise Sophie Ellis-Bextor 3:29
  5. 4 Hush Little Voices Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:13
  6. 5 Here Comes the Rapture Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:6
  7. 6 Come with Us Sophie Ellis-Bextor 3:53
  8. 7 Cassandra Sophie Ellis-Bextor 3:38
  9. 8 My Puppet Heart Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:5
  10. 9 Unrequited Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:28
  11. 10 The Saddest Happiness Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:15
  12. 11 Don't Shy Away Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4:30

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