Top positive review
22 of 22 people found this helpful
Not just a pretty face - this is an outstanding debut
on 4 December 2004
What a wonderful talent she is! So young, but very mature, with a great voice, a lovely personality and a head that is not big, but is screwed on correctly. All this can be gleaned from this CD/DVD version of the album.
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.