Rumer expertly cuddles Bacharach & David catalog

Rumer, “This Girl’s in Love: A Bacharach & David Song Book” (Rhino Records)

Rumer sprinkles moon dust over a dozen tunes from the Bacharach/David catalog, putting her smooth imprint on songs of love and heartbreak. Rumer and husband/producer Rob Shirakbari opt mostly for subtle changes in tempo or mood on tunes best known in versions by the likes of Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, The Carpenters and Jackie DeShannon.

The album comes with Burt Bacharach’s seal of approval, the master adding piano and a fragile vocal introduction to the title track, while also suggesting a few of the selected tracks — “Land of Make Believe” and “The Last One To Be Loved.” It is on the latter that Rumer probably sounds most like Karen Carpenter, a comparison that’s no less true no matter how often it’s made.

Shirakbari — a long-time music director for Warwick and, earlier, for Bacharach — must know every detail of these songs. His arrangements rely on a traditional rhythm section and a variety of string and horn sections and are built to embrace and elevate the nuances in Rumer’s expressive, soothing voice.

If you’re looking for uniformly excellent interpretations of some of the best and most elegant pop songs ever written, including “Walk On By,” ”What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” Rumer’s the girl in love you should fall for.

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