THINGS CHANGE Fried RCA £10.99
David Steele, the writer behind this debut, has a track record that stretches back to The Beat and Fine Young Cannibals, and includes a stint working with Al Green. He and Jonte Short – a singer from New Orleans with a background in a Baptist gospel choir – make up Fried. Steele’s belief that in her he has found his Aretha Franklin is not that farfetched; she has a very fine voice indeed. But given that this album has been five years in gestation (albeit interrupted by business problems and Hurricane Katrina), you might have hoped that Steele would have come up with more distinctive songs. At its best, it is soulful trip-hop, relaxed but ultimately unremarkable. Rubbish name too.