Claire's previous albums had all been pure jazz, but on this album she experimented with pop/rock influences. This upset some of her fans but I found this album to be most enjoyable. Other fans seem disappointed at the lack of up-tempo songs here, but that, too, is fine by me.
The songs demonstrate Claire's eclectic taste in music. Pop and rock are represented by Riverman (Nick Drake), Take my heart (Engelbert Humperdinck), Queen bee (Rupert Holmes), Brilliant trees (David Sylvian), Jonah (Paul Simon), Help (Beatles) and Baby plays around (Elvis Costello). Yet all these songs are well chosen and suit Claire ideally. She co-wrote two of the songs (Inner city girl, Pleading guilty) while she also does a wonderful version of Only the lonely - the song written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy van Heusen, not the more famous pop song made famous by Roy Orbison.
Of the songs here, perhaps the most surprising is Help. This is slowed right dow, done as plaintive ballad. Noel Gallagher (of Oasis) helped with the arrangement and also played acoustic guitar. Perhaps more than any other track here, this demonstrates why people have such contrasting feelings about this album. Some can't stand this re-interpretation but I love it.
While this is not Claire's strongest album (that accolade goes to her 2002 album, Too darn hot), this is a lovely, mellow album that sets its own mood.