Since her breakthrough 1988 hit single "Happy Ever After," British chanteuse/ songwriter Julia Fordham has consistently delivered appealing collections of pop tunes graced with an R&B luminosity.

Since her breakthrough 1988 hit single "Happy Ever After," British chanteuse/ songwriter Julia Fordham has consistently delivered appealing collections of pop tunes graced with an R&B luminosity. She packs double-barrel allure: sultry alto vocals and a gift for indelible melody. On the raptly refined "That's Life," her eighth studio album and second for Vanguard, she hooks up with producer Larry Klein for the third time to heighten the elegance of her romance. He's a perfect fit for Fordham, supplying snippets of horns, strings and background vocals to bring fetching luster to her songs. Highlights include the catchy, soul-fueled "Sugar," the acoustic guitar-driven "Perfect Me," the gem-like "Guilty" and the gently swaying "Jump," a playful tribute to leaving it all behind. While Fordham's shining and soothing croon dominates the set, the best supporting band member award goes to organist Billy Preston, who zips and gurgles his signature sound throughout the radiant mix.—DO