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Knocked out and caught in TheTender Trap!
on 16 February 2001
The Tender Trap was the second Stacey Kent album, released by Candid Records in 1998 following on from the success of Close Your Eyes. There is a glowing introduction from award-winning song writer, Jay Livingston. He was grabbed by her voice when he heard it across a noisy London Restaurant. In my case it was her appearance in the film, Richard III. Since then her popularity has grown in leaps and bounds on both sides of the Atlantic and it's easy to see why from this recording. As more and more people become fans, she is likened to many different singers, but really she is an original. She has a way of taking a song, any song, and putting it across in such a way as to make it seem completely fresh and original, no matter who may have recorded it in the past. In this album, I particularly like Fools Rush In, where Stacey's wonderful voice and phrasing are perfectly complemented by the sympathetic artistry of her (very English) husband Jim Tomlinson on tenor sax. I have always liked Carley Simon's version of In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, but the more I hear Stacey's version, the better I like it. If your taste is something with more rhythm, then you will love Comes Love, but each and every track brings its own particular delights. I saw Stacey perform live for the first time recently and it was great to see her warm and bubbly personality, but then, as on this recording, the backing of Jim Tomlinson, David Newton on piano and Colin Oxley on guitar were outstanding. These are musician at work, but it is also their pleasure - and ours.