That assessment is reflected in Rumer’s music, which is determinedly optimistic.
She reminds us that seeing the good side of life is a choice.
Introducing a song with the question “are any of you divorced?,” the singer proceeded to fool her listeners with a story told from the point of view of the partner who thinks splitting up would be a dumb idea.
She closed her set with “I am Blessed,” which repeats the title some 25 times. Rumer’s songs provide a heartfelt counter to the cheap and easy cynicism of our wired world. She conveys the message in a voice that’s as fresh and sweet as mist on a mid-June morning.
Rumer’s up tempo numbers evoke the charm and spirit of the pop sound that emerged from Southern California in the mid-1960s, exemplified by the Yellow Balloon, Sun Rays, Jan and Dean, and the Association. This British singer, born in Pakistan, owes a lot to Southern California. It’s a debt that she’s paid back with interest.
In 2012, Rumer recorded the song “P.F. Sloan,” which was written decades earlier by Jimmy Webb.
As a result, she met Sloan, the composer of several brilliant songs from the 1960s that became hits for other artists.
The two became good friends. Last fall, they played a few gigs together in London. Now, it was L.A.’s turn.
Sloan, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, performed a short set of his own songs, including “You Baby,” “Eve of Destruction,” “Secret Agent Man,” and “Let Me Be.” Though these hit singles featured a jangly folk-rock sound, they lost nothing in Sloan’s slowed-down interpretations, aimed at a mature audience.
The treat was hearing Sloan perform “New Design,” a song he wrote in 1968 that Kenny Rogers later recorded.
This emotive ballad, inspired by meeting a woman whose boyfriend was leaving to serve in the military, demonstrates that Sloan still had it in 1968, even if the record business didn’t necessarily think so.