Victoria Hart is the 18-year-old chipper-voiced waitress who became a staple of the UK press after performing at a George Clooney party in Cannes in May and attracted major label offers. Her often unfocused debut album, much of it written by Geoff Gurd, is a stab at finding the best vehicle for her come-hither, upper register voice.
There are big band settings that feel too cute, interpretations that veer too close to showtunes performed as written and a few cliched ’70s R&B ballad throwbacks. Hart’s at her most effective fronting a small combo that plays up the sultriness while she exposes her vulnerability (“Tell Me Something,” “Two Time Blues”). Version of the Kink’s “Sunny Afternoon” is a charmer, proof of the song’s enduring and endearing qualities.