RUMOUR has it. . that Rumer's next album will eclipse her Seasons of My Soul debut masterpiece that made her the fastest-selling new artist of 2010.

Actually it's not a rumour at all. It's just wishful thinking on my part and a cheap shot at a gratuitous pun on the artist's name, but I don't care.

Having been knocked out by Seasons of My Soul since its release to universal acclaim last November and catching the last night of Rumer's 11-date sell-out tour at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, like so many of her growing army of fans I live in hope of her second offering, when it comes, living up to my sky-high expectations.

For those worried about the "second album syndrome" it is encouraging to hear that she describes the Boys Don't Cry project she is currently working on with her producer Steve Brown - a collection of songs by male singer-songwriters - as more of a prequel since the pair have been collaborating on it for more than a year.

Personally, I have every confidence in Sarah Joyce, the Anglo-Pakistani songstress who renamed herself after the Anglo-Indian author Rumer Godden.

As she showed so impressively on Sunday, she can delight and captivate an audience with her smooth, mellow and soulful self-penned ballads - er debut single, Slow, was acknowledged as a love song classic the day it was released - while being brave enough to punctuate her set with the odd cover that displayed the range of work she is capable of and, indeed, that she is comfortable with: Paul Simon's Long Long Day, Smokey Robinson's You've Really Got A Hold On Me, Laura Nyro's Stoned Soul Picnic (chiefly associated with The 5th Dimension), and Gil Scott-Heron's Lady Day and John Coltrane that provided a rousing finale.

Rumer - the proverbial "overnight success" who was more than a decade in the making - gave many a clue to her musical roots, about where her soul lies and a few hints about the direction in which she is heading.

But the here and the now is Seasons of My Soul and that provided the night's undoubted highlights: Goodbye Girl which has such strong echoes of Karen Carpenter with whom she is so often compared, the beautifully delivered Am I Forgiven, the smoky Come To Me High, the magnificent Blackbird, which relates to her time living in a commune in Dorset, and the powerfully soulful Aretha - an homage to Aretha Franklin which gives an insight into her relationship with her late mother.

They were all delivered in marshmallow tones with ease and simplicity that suggests that the supremely talented Rumer, blessed with a quite exceptional voice, is comfortable where she is at and confident that she knows where she is going.