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4.3 out of 5 stars121
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 22 May 2010
Katie Melua's fourth studio album, and her first away from the guiding influence of Mike Batt, a collaboration that has produced some fabulous music over the last five years. It seems this has been something of a double-edged sword for the artist. In my humble opinion she is a supremely gifted singer and no mean songwriter either, but her critics have always used the "Batt factor" as an excuse to undermine her worth. I hope I am wrong, but it seems to me she may have felt this a little too, grateful for the mentoring, musicianship and astounding song-writing talent of Mr Batt, but feeling in latter years that she still needs to prove herself as an individual. If that was the case, then it is a testament to her ambition and dedication that somebody who has already penned such heartbreakingly beautiful songs as "Faraway Voice", "Piece By Piece" and "I Cried For You" should still feel the need to prove her writing ability.
Melua's songs don't always grab one instantly. In fact I have initially dismissed several as duds. But it is always the same - after a couple of plays they begin to haunt my brain like some strange, beautiful ghost.
The House certainly hasn't let me down. In fact I think it is superb. Lyrically clever, haunting, diverse and full of subtle melodies, there is plenty here to please the old Melua fans, but enough diversification from her past style to gain many new ones (and hopefully some younger ones!) William Orbit's production is certainly evident, and some passages wouldn't be out of place in a club. I especially liked the little vocal quirks which are dotted throughout the songs, which only someone of Melua's talent and range could pull off effectively. In fact, in places it put me in mind of Kate Bush's vocal experimentation - and that's no bad thing.
You may not enjoy Melua's particular style, and that is down to individual taste. But for me this album proves there can be no doubt about her talent as a writer of songs.
You may suspect I am a fan of Katie Melua's music, and of course you would be right.
I for one hope that she keeps producing albums as good as "The House" (and her previous three albums) for many years to come. But whatever I say won't make any difference. You will either like something or you won't, and the only way to find out is to listen to it.
But in my opinion, pure talent, with or without Mr Batt.
Highly recommended.
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on 11 September 2010
If you buy this simply on the strength of being a Melua fan then play it three or four times or in other words don't jump to conclusions!

The 'girl next door' image is going if not gone, but Katie's voice still sounds great, a little more earthy on some tracks and still powerful too. I particularly like 'The Flood' which has great lyrics and a dynamic production. Many may disagree but I could hear a little 'Madonna' (at her best) style coming through on this track and others - perhaps not surprising with William Orbit producing.

Katie punches her weight on the vocals, and few of these songs will ever appear on top karaoke charts because it is clear they are difficult to sing, indeed I feel that in some cases only Katie (and perhaps Madonna) could do justice.

In short Katie will keep her existing following and earn new fans with this album, it grows on you with every play.
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on 18 May 2010
I recently heard someone say that this record will shock Katie Melua's old fans. I don't think that is true...pleasantly surprised would be a more apt reaction.

The songs still showcase her unique and beautiful voice and there are still plenty of her trademark ballads - although the lyrical content seems a bit darker.

The first single The Flood probably sums up the album well - an epic 'Bond' theme in the main, with an unexpected temp change 2/3 of the way through with William Orbit's production apparent.

The House is epic, it is definitely a "Katie Melua record" for her old fans but, with songs like Happy Place, Twisted and Plague Of Love has songs that should pique the interest of those who haven't previously bought one of her albums

Highly recommended
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on 12 February 2012
I never paid much attention to Katie Melua and thats because she was always dumped in the Jazz section of local stores (I hate Jazz).

I heard the song flood last week at a friends house and was totally gobsmacked at the crystal clear quality of the production and her vocals. I love how the song changes tempo, and its one of the best songs I've heard for a long time.

Needless to say I bought the CD and I'm loving every track on it - so much so that I've ordered all her CDs :)
Get it, you wont regret it!
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on 27 June 2010
This is Katie's best CD in my opinion of all four. Every song is amazing and distinctive. It definitely reminds me of the quality of Ray of Light where Madonna who worked with William Orbitz sounded great for the first time and I loved every song as well. Katie has a superior voice. i dont get why she is not a big star in the states.
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on 28 August 2010
Superb talent on display once again, hitting all the right notes.

Enjoyable from the first to the last second this is a truly great album, no matter how much the "BBC review" above protests.

If you like your "music" as randomesque noise, then it would be no surprise you would not enjoy this album.

On the other hand, if you like music for the things music is all about, melody, beauty of composition and voice, then add it to your basket and seize the day for indulgent enjoyment.
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on 3 October 2010
This is the first CD by Katie Melua that I've bought. I saw her a while ago on TV singing a song from this album and liked it. What a beautiful voice she has and she writes good lyrics as well as refreshingly different melodies. I'm so glad I got this album and intend to check out some of her earlier stuff now.
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on 24 June 2010
Katie's new album is still the Katie we know and love, but at the same time it is different. A nice different, though.
If you prefer the pure folk-type of Katie's work, this may not be for you, but if you can accept and accommodate the more modern feel, then sit back and listen.
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She really is very good, either recording in the studio (in this case) or live on stage, where she is arguably much better.

The soft tones remain, with delightful lyrics which are very insightful, more importantly this is a good album, which is easy to listen to and will remain on my pod for a long-time. It is not her best album, but some of the tracks really are very good indeed.

I feel that Katie Melua will be with us for a long time and so far I see nothing to be critiscise her for. I don't feel the album is worth 5 stars and just about makes 4 for me: based upon "good", "very good" and "excellent". It is very good and to be honest Mr Batt's influence may have been crucial for albums 1 and 2, but as this is her fifth album she is more than capable of producing on her own.

There are some much better reviews of this album provided by other people, but if like me you just want a nice voice, good production and something to enjoy, this is an album well worth the money.
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on 8 July 2011
When the single THE FLOOD came out,i think a lot of people were surprised by the change of direction KATIE was clearly taking,but i kind of liked it,bought the album and applaud the unexpected change.
The album kicks off with I'D LOVE TO KILL YOU,nice title eh?,but it's a well written song not far from her usual choice of song,but it's good opener.
THE FLOOD starts off slowly and kind of twists and turns showing signs of change in direction,soon leaving you without doubt. It may've put some people off,but i like it.
A HAPPY PLACE does sound a little odd in places,that new direction keeps going,and i'm glad it does.
A MOMENT OF MADNESS,i love this track. quite bonkers,but brilliant.
RED BALLOONS is pleasant enough,nice lyrics,beautifully sung,but that's no surprise really.
TINY ALIEN,certainly another of the new direction tracks,quite bizzare,has really grown on me.
NO FEAR OF HEIGHTS is a simple,nicely sung song,works well enough.
THE ONE I LOVE,can't really fault it,not the most memorable,but good enough.
PLAGUE OF LOVE is another grower,a little weird,but no worse for it,and one of her rockier tracks,even makes it stand out a little.
GOD ON DRUMS,DEVIL ON THE BASS,this in my opinion is the best track on here.it's so far from what we'd expect of KATIE MELUA but just brilliant. there's something dark and enigmatic about this,perhaps even a little menacing. Really really like this.
TWISTED is almost something you would expect with a tinge of something you wouldn't,if that makes any sense.
THE HOUSE finishes the album off with that new sound this album so proudly displays,haunting you could say. Interesting finish to a stunning album.
This may well not be what a large percentage of her fans wanted,but it does show she is not afraid of change,and sometimes musical evolution is beautiful.
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