Hot off the heals of supporting roles for the likes of Alphabeat, Jamie Cullum and Paloma Faith, Eliza's music lilts welcomingly into our lives like the lingering kiss of a warm summer breeze - her eclectic style is completely incomparable to anything else, because everything you compare it to pails in comparison.
There have been a lot of links to Lily Allen, mainly because of her softly lilting, slightly cockney sounding voice and occasional choice of choon-style (think 'He Wasn't There' and you're a third of the way there), whereas the rest of her sound is a mix of acoustic jazz, ska, soul and pop, with just a hint of indie chucked in for good measure. Influences run far and wide, from Fleetwood Mac, through The Beach Boys right up to the likes of Radiohead, all at the same time as managing to make a sound that is utterly fresh and unusual whilst sounding like a timeless piece from a 1960's stage musical, if not before.
The sound is summer. There is no possible other way to describe it. She manages to captivate the season with her perfectly jaunty, bubbly ditties in the same way Enya's music will always be winter, and the Sugababes will always be autumn.
The album is a delight from start to finish - the absolute high-point is her second single 'Pack Up' - it's bold and brassy and blissful- and manages to take marching song 'Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag' and use it in a way which sounds neither gimmicky nor rubbish - it just sounds lush!
Beyond that, and previous very-very-good single 'Skinny Genes' - the albums top products are 'Moneybox', 'Police Car' and 'Mr. Medicine', with Fleetwood Mac-influenced and all round pretty song 'Missing' taking the second-top-spot as best song on the album.
Low points? Well there aren't really any. Sometimes the lilting style turns into a meandering plod, like on 'Rollerblades', which means it may be listened to less than some of the rest of the album, but aside from this the album is perfection.
on 1 November 2010
This is a brilliant family album. My children aged 5 and 7 love it. My wife and I also really enjoy listening to it.
The singles are fantastic pop tunes, as you will probably be aware. On first listen I was concerned that some of the songs on the album were jarring (e.g. Go home, a Smokey Room) whilst others were a bit weak (Empty Hand, Police Car). But the quirky nature of Go Home has grown on me and the slightly weaker songs are not that bad.
Two of the other songs on the album, "So High" and "Back to Front" are first rate, classic, genius and as good as anything I have heard from Amy Winehouse, or any other young songstress for that matter. Touching lyrics, lovely tunes and achingly beautiful vocals. I wonder if one of these two will be released as the next single? If EMI have any sense they will do that.
Very much recommended. Five stars. And I am not just saying that because she supports Arsenal.
on 17 February 2015
Not so long ago, I came across a decent song in an advert, but had no idea who it was by. By the style and sound, I thought the artist may have been Gabriella Cilmi, although the voice didn’t sound quite right for her work. It turned out that the song was Eliza Doolittle’s “Skinny Genes”. This presented another quandary over whether to buy the album, as the last time I bought an album based on one decent song from an advert (Yael Naim’s “New Soul”, from the T-Mobile advert), I wasn’t all that impressed with the rest of the album. But seeing as how the iTunes version of the album came with a couple of videos, including the one for “Skinny Genes”, I was eventually tempted.
Apart from a couple of slightly jarring notes that don’t fit in so well, what Eliza Doolittle has created here is a perfect summer album. It’s the kind of thing you can have playing along in the background when you’re having drinks on the patio in the evening, or to underpin the drone of conversation at a BBQ or dinner party. Sadly, summer in England is so short and so infrequent that she may well have created an album that works best in combination with weather that barely exists.
There are quite a few influences here, from the modern music and vocal delivery that evokes Bailey Rae and Lily Allen, through to the near century old sample and 60s musical influences on some other songs. This does mean that the album doesn’t sound terribly original at points, but that doesn’t stop it sounding rather good for the most part. Sadly, however, whilst the album is fun and quirky for the first few listens, there isn’t a great deal of depth to it, which means it does get a little twee and annoying after multiple listens; some songs more so than others. There are, however, a few tracks (the singles especially) that don’t grow old in a hurry. Fortunately, as the season the album fits into most perfectly doesn’t some around too often or stay too long, it may not get enough playing time to get too annoying too quickly.
The album is 13 tracks and 41 minutes of fun little pop tracks and it’s reasonable value, especially as you’re likely to pull it off the CD rack more or less annually. But one way or another, this is a fun little album and it’s well worth a listen. It’s certainly not an essential album and possibly not even a great album, but it is rather good.
This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
Prior to this album being released, I was lucky enough to hear a number of tracks from the album on the internet and I instantly loved Eliza's music. I have to tell you that this album is going to be huge, especially if Eliza gets the radio airplay she deserves. "Pack Up" & "Moneybox" have been going around in my head all day and I just have to smile every time I hear them, "Pack Up" is just want you need on a sunny day to get you motivated.
Eliza has such a fresh sound you just cant help tapping along to the beat. This young lady from London is the daughter of Frances Ruffelle who also had a singing career and represented the UK in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest with the hit "Lonely Symphony" and went on to have a big career on the stage. Her Grandmother is Sylvia Young who runs the famous "Sylvia Young Theatre School" that bought us so many famous faces including Emma Bunton, Leona Lewis and Amy Winehouse to name just a few. So if you are in any doubt about this young lady's talent then think again!!
The album's cover certainly suggests that this is a fun, colourful album and the tracks really do back this up this bright, fresh image. Amazon have also supplied samples and to be honest you just have to want this album after listening to those snippets!!!
Be prepared to be "Doolittled" this Summer!!!!!!
on 12 July 2010
To set the perspective of this review: I don't consider myself a pop fan - to the degree that I take decisive action to avoid it frequently. I stick to my adored genres - rock, metal and blues and their various sub-categories - probably all too unhealthily and unfairly. But there are a few rare artists that make me let go of all the snobbish genre rules I impose upon myself and I can't help but love them openly.
There are very few pop acts that do this for me, and Doolittle is one of them. I saw her live, supporting Sia (she's another) and became an instant fan. Since the gig, I took to listening to as many of her songs as I could find online, on a regular basis, dying for a tangible collection of her stuff to appear for purchase and here it finally is.
I only got my copy today, but I'm familiar with most of it already due to the above, and I can honestly say that I can't fault one single song on this album. I adore an unusually large number of them for an album of any genre, in terms of the proportion of astonishingly superb tracks to just the very good ones; this debut is full of brilliant songs (and worth even more commendation for the fact that it is just that - a debut effort). I know I'm still going to listen to for weeks on end, despite how familiar I am with the songs due to my surfing.
I think it's those beyond amazing, chills-down-your-spine inducing voices, coupled with the not-too-mainstream but more arty pop that gets me. To stop labouring the point: Doolittle is so good that she's perception shattering for me personally. I love her incorporation of the old with the new - like with the world war one march song, picked up on by her for its wonderful optimism (which is the first reason I took to loving it as soon as I heard it), used in Pack Up. I'm an avid twitter follower of hers and truly can't wait to see her live a second time, and probably many more times after that. Very highly recommended.
on 12 October 2010
This is a wonderful uplifting album that confirms a great new talent. I can see why Eliza Doolittle gets compared to Lilly Allen as there is the same summer feel and quirkiness of `Alright Still' , but overall there is a much more jazzy feel to ED's album and even some infectious experimenting with the odd whistle now and again. Pack Up is the feel good song of the year and this album is packed with many more like it, suitably contrasting and unique.
on 10 August 2010
Only heard 'pack up' on the radio a couple of times and really enjoyed the track. Bought the album without listening to any samples of the tracks but glad i bought it. This album is very upbeat, happy and makes you smile.
on 14 September 2010
Eliza Doolittle is a pretty new name in the music industry but is already hitting some good notes with music fans on the radio.
The self named album was released on July 12th , not long after Eliza signed with Parlophone records and has succesfully made it to a gold record, along with all her tracks making it to the top 25 singles. Not a bad job for the 22 year old from westminster.
Being her first album it needed to get her image, style and quality across, and being the sort of person who listens to anything but knows what he likes, I was extremely pleased with this debut.
Her style is definatley in the pop/folk category and seems to me like a family freindly lily allen for want of a better idea. The talky style fits in well with the jazz and bouncy feel of her top tracks, Pack up and Skinny genes.
Part of her appeal also comes with her support of my beloved Arsenal FC.
So on with the music ....
As I said the first song needs to show the style to come, Moneybox is filled with percussion, happiness and a crisp clear voice which is relaxing to listen to.
Thrown in are some strange lyrics which show the songwriting talent of Eliza as they actually work, " Instead of going out to dinner tonight, we can grow vegtables underneath the skylight ".
But what is really great with the song is it's ability to stick in your head, the chorus is snappy and repetitive and also has a nice meaning behind it, that you don't need money and that it's those around you who make you happy.
As an opening track it does the job of easing you into the album and I can't really find any faults 5/5
This song takes the pace down a little and has a simple few piano notes in the background. I'm not completely sure this song really goes well with Eliza, the verse feels a little off and the chorus doesn't hit home as much.
It's not that it isn't a nice song, but it just doesn't feel good in the album. 3/5
3. Go home
Back in her element , this song has a repetitive beat that Eliza's voice seems to hold and brings everything together.
The lyrics tell of Eliza hiding out in a house far from home, listening to music and dancing, whilst trying to evade the choppers and police cars. "Looking out the window , see a chopper a flying, wonder what their doing if there looking for a girl with curly hair"
The whole song has a good ring to it and is a nice summer tune, the rhytmic singing whisks you away to another world and it makes the commute a lot easier. 5/5
4. Skinny Genes
The first song that really propelled Eliza into the music world and once again it's playing within her range and keeping to the formula thats made her songs popular.
Her vocals in Skinny genes seem flawless and the way she says "I really don't like your arrogance" is wonderful as she shows a childish voice mixed in with the innuendo's of the "Take off your skinny genes, so we can do this properly".
Again a song with a life learnt meaning, the song is all about that person you love who is a complete ass but you can't live without, im sure we all have one, and if you don't , it's probabley you. 5/5
5. Mr medicine
Drums and acoustic guitar are an important part of a summer tune and Mr medicine plays up to this to provide a great tune.
The song builds up nicely raising into chorus, vocal wise its a good job although there are certain moments which show up the roughness of the track and voice, it works in a way as it personalises the track and shows its a true peice of the artists work and not a shopped peice of rubbish.
Eliza's ability to write lyrics which stick in your head keeps appearing and soon you will be walking around singing a mash-up of the album. 5/5
This track has a elevator music style backing and it just doesn't sit right, the lyrics are stop start in fitting with the tune and doesn't work with Eliza's voice.
The lyrics still stick , especially the opening line of "I'm called dolittle, but I do a lot" but this song has an annoying edge to it rather than the coolness and acoustic feel of the rest of the album. 3/5
7. Back to front
A really pleasent song and one with a more emotional, love feel to it. The lyrics are clever and have some nice imagery "I wouldn't mind walking backwards with you, at least we'd know where we were going to".
It shows the artist can put across a different style rather than bouncy and happy, the slightly more serious approach shows there is some growth to be had in future albums if she chose to go in this direction. 4/5
8. Smokey room
Another tune that doesn't work in her favour as the movement of the song makes her sound a little croakey, add into this a horrible backing singer in the chorus it leads to it being the worst of the album. 2/5
9. So high
A slow paced song which is a nice evening song, it shows Eliza can project her voice a little and hit some nice notes. Again this is a direction she can work on and could take a album in this direction.
The lyrics and sound is nice and works as a taster of different abilities and style. 4/5
An upbeat song with nice lyrics and the bog standard Eliza does. The lyrics are fun and carry a good message, "I can be A , I can be C , multiple choice don't fit in with me".
It's a song about being yourself and finding your own style, unfortunatley the song doesn't seem to build throughout the track and just seems to carry on. 4/5
11. Pack up
Now this , this is the standout track of the album and no doubt the one you have heard. Everything about this song is good, it's upbeat, it shows Eliza's songwriting and singing ability and it is something different.
The song builds and the chorus has a wonderful blues style backing which is missed in much of todays music, you can really feel that this is the song that she's truly proud of as her voice is really thrown into it.
The music and lyrics will stick in your head and is heavily addictive, the song also carries a message which seemed very personal to me. "I get tired and upset, Im trying to care a little less" and this song really does pack you up and say bring it on. 5/5 and song of the album.
12. Police car
Slowing up again but a nice progression and some smooth guitar playing, there is some hit and miss sections and a few of the lyrics seem a little random even for Eliza.
This seems like a little filler song to bring up the track numbers, it's nothing special and certainley not one of her best 2/5
13. Empty hand
The last song of the album and were not going out with a bang, this is a sad and solemn song which really ends the album on a sad note. However it's a clever song because it's Eliza saying goodbye to listeners and her being tired from the album, with todays music theres a good chance we may not hear from her again which is a shame.
A lovely and meaningful song, 4/5
Overall a very good debut album and hope to hear more in the future.
on 13 May 2016
I bought this album after hearing the hit 'Pack Up' on the radio and I was not disappointed. At first it did remind me a bit of Lily Allen but on subsequent listening I heard that Eliza has her own voice and style. Many of the tracks are uplifting summer sounding tunes which make you want to sing along but there are also some more mellow, soulful ones like 'So High' and 'Empty Hand'. The one track that I initially disliked was 'A Smokey Room' but even this grew on me in time. Overall this is a good listen.
Eliza grew up near me and is reminiscent of all those care-free girls who enjoy Camden Market, speak with a soft middle-class'ish North London accent and enjoy crazy 'anything-goes' fashion.
This album was a very pleasant surprise. I prefer American folk and Country but heard the song Pack Up was played non stop on various London based radio stations and began to really like it. A guitarist since age 12, she writes her songs too and it's much more interesting to listen to someone who has actually mastered this craft.
My personal favourite is Skinny Genes, it's the way she sings certain lines, just authentic and real in a way that girl bands never will be. Like a 1940's Jazz singer in very short, shorts.