8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Not Katie's Best, But Not Bad, November 21, 2007,
This review is from: Pictures (Audio CD)I am a huge fan of the jazz-influenced female adult-pop artists that have emerged in the past five years or so, and really wanted to love this album. I have to admit, though, that I have been somewhat disappointed in it. (I would tend to give it three and half stars, but since there are no "half stars" allowed here, I will round my rating up to four.)
My first exposure to this particular musical genre dates to 2002, when I first heard Norah Jones' debut album - and was completely blown away by it. The following year I came across Melissa Errico's "Blue Like That" CD, which I found myself enjoying just as much. Then in 2004, I chanced to hear Katie's first CD when it was first released in the US, and was immediately taken by her gorgeous voice and beguiling accent. I of course, bought Katie's second album as soon as I could, and liked it as much as the first - if not even more. Unfortunately, the dreaded "sophomore jinx" seems to have hit Katie on her third try. Or perhaps one could say that the third time has turned out *not* to be the charm, in this case.
There are several songs that I really do enjoy on this new disc, though. Reviewing a Carpenters' album, Rolling Stone magazine once observed that "nobody could take the ickiest love song and fill it up and out like Karen". With no intention of comparing the two, I would tend to say the same exact thing regarding Katie. So, I do very much appreciate the two ballads, "If You Were A Sailboat" (the first single) and "What It Says On the Tin". In addition, "What It Says On the Tin" features a strikingly beautiful jazz-guitar solo.
I also like "Ghost Town", with its quasi-reggae beat and tastefully restrained use of brass instruments. But perhaps my favorite track on the album is "Perfect Circle". The Brazilian samba (or bossa-nova) rhythm of "Perfect Circle" recalls some of Dusty Springfield's 60s recordings, and Katie sings it very much the way that Dusty would have, too.
As for the rest of the material on the new CD, I would honestly have to say that it just doesn't grab me the way these four songs do. But I'm sure that Katie can do better than this, and I'm hopeful that the next album will mark a welcome return to form - and will live up to the standard of her first two.