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Victoria Hart - Whatever Happened To Romance?

Victoria Hart, Whatever Happened To Romance?

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

VICTORIA Hart was catapulted into the spotlight after she wooed A-list Hollywood stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and the rest of the cast of Ocean’s 13 on board an exclusive yacht in Cannes in June.

Aged just 18, she had previously been waitressing at the Naked Turtle restaurant in Richmond for £7 an hour, despite first impressing at Cannes three years earlier.

Upon being asked to sing for Clooney and co, however, her vocals quickly created a groundswell of interest and she became the subject of an intense bidding war between no less than three record companies before finally ending up at Universal (or Decca Records/UCJ).

Victoria’s allure lies in her ability to transport listeners to a bygone era thanks to her sultry vocals, glamorous look and vintage style that are deliberately evocative of the 1940s and icons such as Marilyn Monroe.

Her debut album Whatever Happened To Romance? finds her yearning for the world to be a more romantic place – one where old fashioned values are embraced and courtship cherished.

Jazz fans should embrace her – but there’s a keen sense of style and delivery that makes Victoria’s songs appeal to a much wider demographic.

Songs such as Some Day and Sunny Afternoon, a sultry take on The Kinks’ classic, have an easy listening appeal that’s born out of their familiarity. But courtesy of Hart’s playful, sultry vocals they effortlessly seduce with their mix of Monroe-style showmanship and contemporary instrumentals.

It’s the obvious tracks that hook you in but Hart then works her magic over lesser known offerings such as Wonderful, a ’40s party-filler that’s brimming with cute energy, and the distinctly French Je M’Oublie, during which she practically purrs the lyrics.

A Girl Like Me is another that’s irresistibly delivered, as is Smooth Talker and the stripped back This Obsession (delivered virtually a capella) – but resistance is futile throughout the album. It’s easy to see why Clooney, Pitt and the ensuing record labels swooned. This “singing waitress” has style, grace and the vocals to match. Expect her to be massive.

Download picks: Sunny Afternoon, Some Day, A Girl Like Me, Wonderful, Je M’Oublie, This Obsession

Track listing:

  1. Whatever Happened To Romance?
  2. Sunny Afternoon
  3. Port In A Storm
  4. Some Day
  5. Chocolates And Strawberries
  6. Smooth Talker
  7. Tell Me Something
  8. A Girl Like Me
  9. Two Time Blues
  10. Wonderful
  11. Je M’Oublie
  12. This Obsession
  13. Not My Fault
  14. Whatever Happened To Romance? [C-Loony Album Edit]