Fool’s Gold is Jill Barber’s fourth LP since her switch from willowy folk balladry to a more retro-sophisticated musical outlook, but the album seems like a follow-up to her ubiquitous car-commercial song Never Quit Loving You than anything else.
On Fool’s Gold, Barber continues to be fascinated by the Eisenhower era (elegant romantic pop, with impish strings and a sheen polished with long, white gloves), but adds some soul (classic and country) and even a touch of jaunty roots music.
On the bossa nova-hinting Only You she sings (in her distinctive sweet-tremulous warble) about keeping her heart on the shelf, instead of putting it on the line. Indeed, what some might find missing here is a lack of drama – Barber is a bit noir on the bass-saxophoned Broken For Good, but otherwise the touches are light and the moods are neutral. She serves the songs instead of dominating them, never overselling the emotion. Classy and tasteful.