Almost every pop star today - with the exception of refreshingly minimalist Lorde - is so hopped up on synths, bass and dance-floor overkill, it makes you long for songs that not only stand up with just a voice and a piano, but sound like they were written precisely for that set-up.
For this, Britain's always been great. See Adele and, recently, Sam Smith - and now Birdy, aka Jasmine van den Bogaerde. Fire Within was released last year in the UK but makes its North American debut now, her first full-length here.
Van den Bogaerde teams up with some of the industry's biggest scribes (among them Sia Furler and Ben Lovett) to pen solid pop tunes that aspire to Elton John-style balladry. On these standout songs - No Angel, Standing In The Way Of The Light, Shine, lead single Skinny Love and People Help The People - her warbling croon is highly emotive.
The few folksier, guitar-plucked numbers, however, are a touch formulaic and over-familiar.
Top track: Standing In The Way Of The Light