Essential New Music: Alison Moyet’s “Other”

Alison Moyet’s husky alto can dominate any landscape, from the perky synth-pop of her youthful collaboration with Vince Clarke in Yazoo to the top-40 pop of “Whispering Your Name” or “It Won’t Be Long.” It’s forceful, soulful and empathetic, and 35 years after Yazoo’s classic “Only You,” it’s lost none of its power or beauty. Her profile has remained higher in her native U.K. than in the U.S., but her solo albums—Other is her ninth—have been consistently rewarding. A sequel of sorts to 2013’s The Minutes, Other reunites her with electronic producer Guy Sigsworth (Björk, Madonna) for a set that’s by turns tender and spare (piano ballad “Other”), aggressive and angry (the heavy-handed “Beautiful Gun”) and perky and poppy (the new wavish “Happy Giddy”). But whether juxtaposed with string sections, dark electronics or thumping beats, Moyet’s deeply sonorous voice is still the dramatic center.

—Steve Klinge