She turned out to be one of my favorite voices long after her Jeff Lynne-era: Julianna Raye. Her web site has been transformed and her new CD titled Dominoes is almost ready to release. It is a bossa nova collection produced by Ethan Johns, who produced her last disc Restless Night.
Something Peculiar (her first album and her only produced by Jeff Lynne) is, of course, a drastically different album than Restless Night. But, I was surprised more ELO/related fans didn't follow Restless Night because it was a bit too dark and not pop. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though.
See, there was a time in popular music when singing as if you had a fingernail ripped off was considered good. I found wailing into the microphone like that absolutely ridiculous and still do. Whenever you long for a unique voice who approaches their singing with style and substance, Julianna Raye completely fits the bill.
The thing is both Jeff Lynne and Ethan Johns captured all these little nuances in her voice and brought them out on record. Plus, her writing is absolutely amazing and rather underrated.
Dominoes sounds like an enjoyable follow-up. You can read more and hear clips of the album here.