A long time in coming to fruition, RAYE was forced to publicly take her previous label to task for not helping her to put out a full-length album. Now an independent artist, this much-anticipated self-release already has one number-one single under its belt in ‘Escapism’. Drawing on Dance music and pure Pop, ‘My 21st Century Blues’ draws on a number of genres for influence while showcasing RAYE’s rich, soaring vocals and flair for writing immediately gripping hooks. While ‘Escapism’ is a standout, so too is the uptempo groove ‘Black Mascara’, the R&B ballad ‘Oscar Winning Tears’ and the deeply emotive and personal torch song ‘Ice Cream Man’, a sadly true tale of sexual assault and misogyny. With such a broad palette it’s the strength of RAYE’s vocals and hook writing that holds things together. Long overdue, it’s a joy that RAYE’s debut LP has eventually arrived.