Album: Sam & Ruby, The Here and the Now (Rykodisc)

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Were the here and now of the title sunny California rather than ice age London, one might feel rather more inclined to this debut album from Sam Brooker and his Ghanaian singing partner Ruby Amanfu.

So while this is undoubtedly a collection of finely crafted folk-soul songs written and sung by two people with likeability and potential, the overriding impression is that Sam & Ruby is a too-polite project that ends up sounding like an unholy union of the Lighthouse Family and Simply Red. Will probably sell millions, then.