LILLIE NICOLE McCLOUD is a US soulstress who is maybe best remembered for her 2002 hit ‘Don’t You Want My Love’, though, more recently, discerning viewers might have caught Ms Mc on season 3 (2013) of American X Factor… she came 8th, by the way. The whole X Factor thing constituted a kind of a comeback for the 54 year old singer after she’d spent some years in Slovakia with her football coach hubby.

On the strength of X Factor, Nicole issued a new long player, ‘Red Apples’ which, for all kinds of reasons, slipped under the radar. We’re told that the album is about to be re-promoted with the addition of some new tracks (old ones, actually, taken from the lady’s previous long players, notably ‘Love Town’), and it may even be given a new name (‘Number One Contender’ anyone?). Whatever, the set contain some great soul, including a femme-slanted take on the Temptations’ classic ‘Treat Her Like A Lady’ and a version of Ce Ce Winans’ ‘Alabaster Box’ – the song that wowed the X Factor judges. You also get a great reading of Timmy Thomas’s ‘New York Eyes’ which features dear old Timmy himself. The cut’s from 1986 and Lillie sounds remarkably youthful… which she was of course!

We’ll bring you a review of ‘Red Apples’/’Number One Contender’ just as soon as we have our copy!