on 16 April 2006
I bought this after finding Cullum's two previous outings proving now to be a little tiresome. As good a pianist as he is, he never seemed quite right playing those standards. Slick, yes, but for real jazzers there simply wasn't enough 'proper jazz' in them to be essential albums.
This album is his best yet - but it would be a bit of a fallacy to call it jazz. The strength here is the songwriting and standout tracks are the well-known and sassy 'Get your Way'; the characterful and swinging 'Nothing I Do'; the soulful 'My Yard' and of course the lovely ballad 'I'm Glad there is You'.
Cullum has found an original voice here so lets hope he can continue in this vein and break-away from jazz-marketed-as-popular-music, which we all know VERY rarely works for anything more than one album. Oh, and the CD is very nicely produced too.
on 5 October 2005
Let me first start out saying that I am a HUGE Jamie fan...and I mean, seriously. My admiration for him as a musician and performer are real and genuine, mostly due to the fact I am a musician and performer myself. He has remained the only artist, outside the musical theatre genre, that I have really fallen in love with whole-heartedly. With that said, I must give a little "eh" to his new CD. Granted, I do love his quirky jazzy antics like the next guy/girl, but I think this CD is a bit over-produced...in some songs there is so much "funky" things and weird instrumentation going on, I think it really steals a lot from Jamie's lyrics and musicianship. The thing that almost gave me a coronary was "I only have eyes for you"...it sounds like a 70's porn soundtrack...with one of my most favorite standards thrown on top. Now again, I promise you I am a Jamie fan through and through...but it really makes me upset cause I adore almost every single track 100% in TWENTYSOMETHING. Now, a lot of things are growing on me (like GET YOUR WAY, CATCH THE SUN, LONDONG SKIES)...and OH GOD is personally one of my favorites, besides a more "classic" Jamie-ized FASCINATIN' RHYTHM. Now, hopefully I will get to see him do some of these songs on tour, and who knows maybe I will like them...but for right now, I am kinda forcing myself to listen to some of the songs...like OUR DAY WILL COME and the HAWAIIAN background synthesized intro...I miss the TWENTYSOMETHING Jamie a bit, and I'm curious if anyone feels the same way. I'm all about him taking risks, but find a lot of this CD random and weird...anyway, sorry for the diatribe...this Bloody American just has strong feelings about Jamie Cullum and his music.
on 27 September 2005
Catching Tales is an album that shows just what a musician Jamie Cullum is. His own songs, and there are more than on his other album, are really great. His arrangements of 'I only have eyes for you' and 'Our day will come' are, in my opinion, the best. I am not really a fan of jazz, but I am a true fan of Jamie; his voice and obvious passion for this music is exciting and this CD is just pure joy to listen to
on 27 February 2009
As a previous reviewer has said. i loved twentysomething, so when this was released, i had the special edition for christmas. I was looking forward to it until i played it- what's happened i thought. Even on the second listen, i wasn't fussed, but it was better than the first. I then began to think of other artists who have changed the style of music on each album and looked at it being an individual album, rather than it being his forth (the first album only had 750 cd's printed!). Since then, i have loved how different it is and has showed that Jamie is not a one trick pony, and that he can do other things. He's always said he doesn't want to be labeled and wants to try new and exciting things, which any artist should do.
There are more original songs on here, and it shows how much jamie has developed. He takes a light hearted look at argueing in "nothing i do" but also shows his observation of the world in the touching "oh god," which was written two days after the terrible tsunami. Some of these songs really make you think, while others make you laugh. It's a good balance to have in any album.
If you want an added bonus, get the cd and dvd edition. Here, he talks about making his album and how things have changed. There is also a booklet with the lyrics if you want to sing along.
If you are hoping for another twentysomething, then you will be disapointed. However, if you're looking to see what else jamie can do, then get this and be surprised.
on 24 March 2006
Simply put: Jamie Cullum is one of the most talented musicians currently making music. Not only does Catching Tales capture his musical talent, it showcases his songwriting ability, which he has not properly flaunted on previous albums. For those listeners (and reviewers) who are so gratuitously caught up in defining the term "jazz," I invite you to think outside the box for an hour or so while Jamie does his thing. (Consider this: is any genre -- be it classical, hip-hop, rock, or jazz -- clearly defined? The lines are always blurry, and this is not a bad thing, unless you believe that music and musicians should never evolve.)
Catching Tales is about life lessons in various forms -- both musically and lyrically. "Get Your Way" bounces with punchy sampling (Joe Williams' "Get Out of My Life Woman") and tells of a stubborn anticipated confrontation; "Nothing I Do" blends a perfect contrast of a cheerful, rhythmic melody with lyrics of a tempestuous relationship; "21st Century Kid" ambles breezily about coming of age in a time of uncertainty, punctuated with easy-feeling chords and harmonies; in "7 Days To Change Your Life" we hear Jamie's well-known keyboard talent beneath tongue-in-cheek info-mercialish lyrics, with a style that is pleasantly reminiscent of Harry Connick, Jr.
And it seems Jamie himself is no stranger to reminiscing. Tales and tunes of nostalgia also take the stage in this recording: "Photograph," "Mindtrick," "Oh God," and "Back to the Ground" all demonstrate Jamie's unique marriage of insightful lyrics and appropriate, flavourful grooves. "Catch the Sun," though not penned by Jamie, is an upbeat and inspiring reminder to live in the moment, and although cliche, the energetic refrain might find you humming along. The smooth, sonorous Rhodes-driven texture of "My Yard" reminds me of India Arie or the Brand New Heavies, and indeed, leaves me thinking that rather than confine jazz to a four-walled room, we should, as Jamie says, "explore all the possibilities" and "take the script and flip it, baby."
on 7 October 2005
I was blown away the first time I heard Jamie Cullum's 'Twentysomething' and had great hopes and expectations for this new album. The first play left me utterly disappointed. It sounded so different to the JC sound I loved. Where were the slow ballads, sympathetic cover versions and piano slapping catchy originals? But most of all, where was the jazz? However, after a second listen and a third and a forth, I have grown to love 'Catching Tales' almost as much as 'Twentysomething'. After I gave it a chance I think I began to hear what JC intended with this album. Its an eclectic mix of what I would describe as 'pop' songs, the odd ballad, the odd cover, and best of all the JC originals that stick in your head all day. My favourites have to be 'London Skies' and 'Catch the Sun' but I cannot fault any track on this album.
I don't think it's jazz, but then that isn't why I bought the last album I don't think it matters with this one. His voice is intoxicating and the tunes I can't get out of my head. I would definately recommend this CD to anyone who loved 'Twentysomething' as much as I did and is open to JC developing his style. I'm glad I gave 'Catching Tales' a chance. All music lovers should.
on 18 April 2012
Luckily I bought this album second hand and only paid a few pence for it. I thought I'd give it a go but am dissappointed, not so much with the musicianship but at the fact that yet another British artist has gone 'pop' rather than sticking with their true style. Why do so many UK jazz and classical musicians have to try (and in my opinion fail) to make commercial albums (artistically speaking) when they should instead be forging their own unique path and growing a natural fan base over years as used to be the way? This will languish on my shelf now, however I am prepared to give JC another go and will try another album having read the reviews first to avoid any more mistakes.
on 3 October 2005
This album has so many strong points, there's too many to list here, but I'll state some main ones.
First off, the diversity of influences Jamie uses in his music is amazing; this album features elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, blues and pop amongst other things. As a music lover I just can't get enough of it!
Secondly, his song and lyric writing are both top notch. More of his own songs are included on this album and in my opinion are at least as brilliant as the classics he covers.
Thirdly, the instrumental aspect; the piano solos in Catching Tales are a step up from his already brilliant and unique style. He adds interesting rhythmic and melodic elements into his solo which suggest fusion funk more than classical jazz, yet he can still lay down a thoughtful and soft jazz solo with the best of them. Even for avid music geeks this should appeal because there is some really interesting stuff solo-wise. Also, for someone who only plays guitar as a second instrument, it is obvious he has been spending a fair bit of time playing around with it because on tracks like "My Yard" and "London Skies" I'm fairly sure he wrote and played the guitar and they both sound like he has a good grip on playing and writing with it.
And lastly, his singing and vocal presence. He can lay down funky vocals like on "Get Your Way", really ballsy blues like on "Back to the Ground", and brilliant pop-style singing with great harmonies as featured on many songs. He is such a cool character as well as you can see in his live DVD which adds to his overall appeal.
A musically brilliant and diverse album from a masterful modern musician.
Jamie Cullum's previous album (Twenty Something) was his big label debut and generally well received by the critics and the public alike, a great showcase for his talent. Catching Tales is a much more assured and confident album where Mr C has been given a freer hand overall. His singing and piano-playing are superb throughout.It is fair to say this is more of an album that 'grows' on you. It's less instant than his previous recordings but nothing the matter with that.
He tackles standards like I Only Have Eyes For You and Our Day Will Come and really interprets them in a fresh way while never losing their essence.The production from veteran Stewart Levine is also great.
The original songs such as Photograph and Oh God are also sound compositions and blend in well. In Catching Tales we see the further development of Jamie Cullum and his further progression as a major talent on the music scene.
on 31 October 2015
I like it, but not as much as Momentum or The Pursuit. A mixture of self-penned and interpretations of 'classics'. I like both, but I do love his interpretations of the oldies. He sounds fresh and cool. And a bit edgy at times.