Now officially anointed as the new Dudley Moore, being a talented British pianist about to wed a much taller blonde, Jamie Cullum returns after a four year break with The Pursuit
, his fifth and best album yet. A gleeful and deft big band version of Cole Porter’s classic "Just One Of Those Things" kicks off proceedings with a new Cullum-composed introduction, an indicator of his current confidence. And on this evidence it’s warranted. First single, the soft-rocking "I’m All Over It" deserved greater success, while the jaunty "Wheels", inspired by the credit crunch, neatly encapsulates the varied moods of The Pursuit
. A funereal reading of "If I Ruled the World" owing far more to Elvis Costello than Harry Secombe, is followed by "You and Me Are Gone", a tribute to Louis Prima’s turn on the soundtrack of The Jungle Book
that’s as much fun as its inspriation. A cover of Rihanna’s hit "Please Don’t Stop The Music" is as vulnerable and full of longing as the original even as he makes it his own, yet "Mixtape", a tribute to the varied music Cullum loves, is an upbeat, even extravagant pop song not miles from Ben Folds. "We Run Things" is slighter--Cullum can’t really do threat--but the concluding "Music Is Through", effectively a house tune anchored by his brother’s stand-up bass, neatly combines several genres to great effect. The playing is great throughout, the songs well chosen and arranged, the result entirely satisfying. If marrying pop and jazz without contrivance was the target, then The Pursuit
has succeeded perfectly.--Steve Jelbert
The fifth studio album from the English pop and jazz-pop singer-songwriter, pianist, guitarist, and drummer featuring the single 'I'm All Over It'.