|1. Call Off The Search|
|2. Crawling Up A Hill|
|3. The Closest Thing To Crazy|
|4. My Aphrodisiac Is You|
|5. Learnin' The Blues|
|6. Blame It On The Moon|
|8. I Think It's Going To Rain Today|
|10. Tiger In The Night|
See all 12 tracks on this disc
|1. Katie Melua "On Stage & Backstage"|
|2. Faraway Voice|
|3. I Put A Spell On You|
|4. The Closest Thing To Crazy|
|5. My Aphrodisiac Is You|
|6. I Think It's Going To Rain Today|
|8. Mockingbird Song|
|9. Crawling Up A Hill|
|10. Call Off The Search|
See all 16 tracks on this disc
No doubt 18-year-old Katie Melua has got used to being tagged "the next Norah Jones". After all, the similarities between her debut, Call Off the Search, and Jones's own five-Grammy-winning Come Away with Me more than support the comparison. Both feature precociously graceful and accomplished singers swirling through a haze of sweetly sensual sways--warm, slurred and gloriously lazy--and both certainly belong in the same stress-relieving rack in the easy-listening section. Yet to view Melua as a soundalike is to miss the strength and allure of her own distinctive character. Hers is intimate contemplation spiced with the jazzy drama of an off-Broadway musical. From the flamboyant inflections of her voice and the drowsy orchestra backing "The Closest Thing to Crazy" and "Learnin' the Blues", to the honky-tonk seduction of "My Aphrodisiac Is You", there's a street-smart attitude to her tender swoon that means the image of a dimly lit basement is never far away. With the velvety lounge of "Blame It on the Moon", the dreamy romance of the title track and the devilish blues of "Crawling Up a Hill", it's an eccentric and charming collection that very much stands Melua as a talent in her own right. --Dan Gennoe
It is a wonderful assortment of styles and sets her apart from a lot of other singers, although she will be compared to people like Norah Jones. The DVD, highlighting her in concert at Croydon's Fairfield Hall, as well as her talking about the album, band and videos, shows her to be unspoilt and as good live as on record.
She has a great set of songs here, all of them worthy of their place on the album. Bearing in mind Mike Batt was first known for the Wombles (bless them!), half of the album tracks are his compositions.
However, there are other composers' songs here - she does a very good reading of John Mayall's "Crawling Up A Hill", an equally excellent version of James Shelton's "Lilac Wine" .... and there are a couple of her own songs, the impressive "Belfast (Penguins and Cats)" which recall her days in that city and "Faraway Voice", a song dedicated to Eva Cassidy, whom Katie is a big fan of. This last song is nice, but too heavily influenced by Christine McVie's "Songbird" which Cassidy sang so splendidly. There's the classic Randy Newman song "I Think It's Going To Rain Today". However, the arrangement just doesn't do it for me and a the one major disappointment on the album.
Nevertheless, this edition of the album tells you more about Katie Melua and shows her to be very pretty, very talented and with a very fine voice.
Finally, I must say the collection of musicians on the album and the DVD should get a mention - they are all very wonderful. Mike Batt has brought together some serious experience which, no doubt, from whom Miss Melua will learn from. Just one other point about the concert, I wish Mr Batt had not worn that top on stage - it deflects a little from the star attraction!
I'm not certain what Katie's follow-up album should sound like. Perhaps she will need to avoid being too similar to Eva Cassidy (or anyone else, for that matter) - she has a different kind of voice and has enough about her to develop her own style. but I am already looking forward to it.
But the real winner of the Album is her first Single. Mike Batt's new arrangement of "Closest Thing To Crazy" which has been played on BBC2 already and many Fans have signed her Guestbook on her own website www.katiemelua.com asking for her Album or Single.
When I first heard some of the tracks I had to think: "Ah, yes. This is exactly what I missed in our charts for all those years."
It made me feel warm and cozy and I can't wait to hear the rest of the Album.
Now finally her Album is available. Let's buy it and play that old fashioned music again.... (and again...and again...)
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