European readers will be familiar with the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual music contest celebrating mediocre songwriters and their scantily clad singing protégés. Polish expatriate Yola has never, to my knowledge, entered this contest, but surely she must have grown up watching it on television, because her brand of nameless jazz funk-pop is exactly the kind of music favored on the show. From the Celine Dion-ish radio single “I Wanna Be Loved By You” to the not-too-steamy title track, Another Girl is as soulfully engaging as Anastacia, 5ive and Jennifer Love Hewitt combined.
Yola approaches her songs (all but one written by her) with deadpan graveness, even attempting a serious reading of Shocking Blue’s delightfully kitschy “Venus” (no small feat, considering lines like “A goddess on a mountain top/was burning like a silver flame”). However, even her best intentions can’t save this from being nothing more than another droll, if mercifully short, attempt to conquer radio through blandness and pure boredom.