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4.4 out of 5 stars34
4.4 out of 5 stars
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 24 November 2003
This album is even better than his post-record deal, highly-promoted (and very good!) hit Twentysomething. The album is jazzier, groovier and most of all I much prefer his voice. He sings the songs in a more simple way, he gives less effect to his intonation, and for me the result is far better - fresher, cleaner, and less apt to grate, as it sometimes does on his follow-up. His piano-playing is assured and inventive, his treatment of some old standards is innovative and will definitely get your toes tapping, and his backing band support him very well indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This, the then 23-year-old Jamie Cullum's first album release in late 2002, has earned its place as a minor classic which can be played and listened to again and again.

The musical style is trad jazz, hence the title "Pointless Nostalgic." Cullum brings a fresh feel to many standards in the 20th century jazz canon including "It ain't necessarily so," "In the wee small hours of the morning" and the opener "You and the night and the music." Of the 13 numbers on the album, the majority are skilfully re-worked classics but interspersed with some contemporary numbers like Radiohead's "High and Dry" and Jamie's own ironic composition "I want to be a pop star".

All in all, little short of brilliant for a 23-year-old: a distinctive, confident, close to virtuoso performance, with a maturity of vocal delivery which belies his youthful exuberance and an obvious love for and mastery of his material. It's easy enough on the ear for repeated and frequent listening, and a good reminder of why Cullum has become respected as such a prodigious talent as his career has progressed.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2004
Like many others, I suspect, I got this after the more recent, much-publicised "TwentySomething", and was pleasantly suprised because to my ears (as someone who is not a great lover of jazz) this is actually better by some distance.
It sounds much more like how I imagine a good jazz album should sound. In fact it is more of a group performance, with saxes, bass and percussion given more solo attention, sometimes to the extent that you forget that the man supposedly in the spotlight is Jamie Cullum, piano and vocals.
Jamie's voice sounds even more like a young Sinatra (or should that be Harry Connick Jr) on this set, and it sits well with most of the songs, notable exception being the guvnor's "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning"; it's all in the phrasing and Cullum doesn't have it - yet.
Other than that the selection of songs, while generally safe, makes for enjoyable listening. The arrangements are Cullum's own (or bassist Geoff Gascoyne's) and eschew some of the more eccentric phrasings and odd gimmick tried out on the newer album. The two Cullum originals, more rock than jazz really, don't sound out of their league, and ditto his take on Radiohead's "High and Dry". Sound quality and production are excellent and this album deserves at least as much attention as its big-label successor.
If only all jazz albums were this good.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2006
Cullums first venture into the professional music industry started as a personal project, which was subsequently picked up by Candid records. In contrast to his later work this album has less pollished feel, and benefits greatly from this. 'It Ain't Necessarily So' in particular has a raw passion to it unrivaled in 'Twentysomething' and 'Catching Tales'. The real highlight of the album for me, was 'High and Dry' and for anyone who loves 'All At Sea', and 'Oh God' this song is a must.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2002
Very encouraging early reviews. Jamie has worked hard to learn and develop his distinctive style.I believe and hope this will encourage a new and young generation of jazz enthusiasts .I also believe the mix of music on this CD is spot on in terms of its appeal to the "standards" fan and to the more commercial sounds of its original numbers. Great stuff !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2003
I never used to like jazz music before I listened to Jamie Cullum on Parkinson, like many others, I purchased this album, Poinltess Nostalgic and haven't looked back! Its groovy, jazzy tracks so easy to listen to and his melodic voice just adds even more to the already fantastic album!
Such an amazing album for a seriously talented pianist. Highly recommended.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2003
Who else could pull off such an entertaining and satisfying synthesis of rock and jazz? It's the different types of music I love brought together and reinterpreted by an unassuming, down-to-earth guy with a whole lot of talent and enthusiasm. He's as cool as your best mate, but sure knows how to play and sing.
I read that he "discovered" jazz after noticing a Herbie Hancock sample on his DJ Shadow album, and I think that kind of tells the story. For those of us that are into Massive Attack as well as Ella Fitzgerald, and Jazzanova as well as Radiohead, this album (and the tracks I've heard from the new one) is refreshingly open-minded in its style and genre, taking elements (and songs) from different areas and bringing them together to form an original and unashamedly populist sound.
Cullum spent a week this summer over here in Munich in a small jazz club, and I'm gutted that I missed him. I get the feeling that next time he comes it'll be a wee bit harder to get a ticket. But good luck to the guy. It's easy to knock him - as many jazz critics will - for being too mainstream and populist, yet he's clearly playing the music he loves (from Hendrix to Sinatra) in the styles that he loves (soulful ballads to funky piano solos). No harm in that, and if it brings the joy of jazz to a wider audience then all the better. Good one, mate.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2005
Like many people I listened to this album after hearing (and adoring) 'Twentysomething'. And I was blown away. Jamie is a hugley talented young man who injects verve and enthusiasm into everything he sings, and this enthusiam shines through on this album.
It's always difficult to pick a stand-out track, but on this album if I had to pick two they would probably be 'In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning' and 'I Can't Get Started'. Both utterly beautiful songs that can move me to tears when I listen to them. But the rest of the album is equally stunning. He tackles covers and original material equally well.
Even if you're not a jazz fan I would seriously recommend this album.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 March 2004
This is the first dollup of Jazz from rising star Jamie Cullum. The young piano/vocalist has had huige success with his album Twentysomething, and after purchessing that album, I gave his debut a try.
I orginailly hated Jamie's music. It was to over the top for me and it took a while for me to start to like it. But then I did so this album came as a shock. Jamie's music on here is supurb. There is the famous voice on here with extatic backings and a mouth-watering selection of songs.
This album is alot better than his second. For anyone who liked the second album, will have their breath taken away because this is THE stuff!
Frankly if i brought this album first, then "Twentysomething" I would have been disapointed in his second!
Undoubtably the most stunning stack on this album is "In the Wee small hours of the morning". This song has the power to reduce me to tears. It is a supurb arrangement by Jamie, with a gourgus brass arrangement as an introduction, and a supurb instrumental in the middle. And Jamie's vocals on here is something to be written about- it is perfect- its like a flake in your "99"- all well and good without it but so much better with! This song is beautiful with a capital B and is one of the best on the album.
The rest of the album is as shockingly amazing! The title track "Pointless Nostagic" is odd but is brillient. This really shows off Jamie's vocal skills-as well as his writing skills- as this is one of 2 songs on the album he has written. The other "I want to be a popstar" isn't quite as good- brillient Lyrics but weaker than "Pointless Nostalgic."
There are some brill upbeat songs on the album- which Jamie has made to be wonderful- such as "Well You Needn't" and "Looking good."
Another of the stunnig songs on the album is "High and Dry" which is the same sort of amazing "Pointless Nostalgic". This is another song which can make me cry (!) and is very emotinal and reflective.
All in all this album kicks some a**! This album won Jamie "Rising Star" award at the BBC Jazz Awards 2003 and he honestly deserved it.
For anyone, this CD is something to have- be you Jazz fans, Blues fans or Pop fans, becuase the album suits all. It is professional and classy, and is far better than any other Debut album I have ever heard.
Full Marks for Jamie- Good Man!
(You may also enjoy his album "Twentysomething" and the single "These are the days")
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on 5 August 2010
Bought after seeing Jamie in concert in 2010. The only part of his back catalogue I didn't own. This shows Jamie in progress from copy artist to a talent that is his own. His song writing is seen in development that will in a short space of time produce 'Gran Torino' and his latest album which is outstanding. Not the best album but worth a listen.
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Twentysomething [Special Edition]
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