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True Romance

British soul singer turns in a lush concept LP of love songs

Estelle

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Singer-songwriter Estelle is seen leaving the BCBGMAXAZRIA fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2015 at Lincoln Center on February 12, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty

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In 2008 — the same year another one-name British soul-pop singer called Adele arrived — Estelle made her own splash with "American Boy." Although her fourth LP lacks a killer Kanye collaboration like that one, she doesn't need it. Tracing the stages of a relationship, the album is split into themes including courage, passion and (of course) true romance. It's a loose concept, but it delivers: "Something Good" keeps the Nineties-house revival pumping, while "Silly Girls" is Seventies slow-jam sumptuousness. Even better is "All That Matters" — a love letter to Dionne Warwick's Bacharach-David days that gives this album a fairy-tale ending.    

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