Internal Combustion

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On this Los Angeles native’s third album, she injects a soft, confident voice into a din of funk rhythms, blues riffs and country-folk undertones. While the majority of the collection are originals, her covers are as unique as her name­—Rain’s smart and intriguing cover of Bob Seger’s “Till It Shines” rises above the usual set of introspective female singer/songwriters. Her refined  take on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” simmers with sensuality. Her acoustic-based “Red Green White Blue” features fiddle and banjo accents that delight without overwhelming Rain’s confessional lyrics. In “So You’re the Muse” she makes a string of promises like I’ll get up early / I’ll stay out late / I’ll be the world’s most devoted date to convince a love interest to stay with her. Her devotion to the comforts of a man who gives them something that feels real continues in the gospel-influenced “Next Best Thing.” She successfully gives contemplative folk tunes a rock heartbeat.

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