Releasing your solo debut 20 years into a successful career is not the hallmark of an opportunist, but that is the criticism that Texas singer Spiteri may face over the sound of 'Melody'.

Coming after the success of Winehouse and Duffy in revisiting the 1960s, Spiteri also takes inspiration from the grooves of the decade and that, for some, will be this record's greatest weakness.

Others, however, will have no such hang-ups, and may regard this album as the best thing she's released.

Spiteri's voice has improved with age, and the strings and brass bring out its power and poignancy - a rougher production would've added even more.

With the exception of 'I'm Going to Haunt You' (think C&W karaoke on a cruise ship), she could release any of the songs here as a single, and with a while to go to Duffy and Winehouse's follow-ups, you could be hearing a lot of them. Timing may indeed be everything.

Harry Guerin