The title for this review kinda says it all. I once read a review of Williams which said she could 'sing the back of a cereal packet and it would be brilliant.' They have a point - William's voice is, as ever, a delight to which to listen; soft and floaty without being nauseating. This is helped by her frequently sardonic lyrics - to the reviewer who objected to 'not waving but drowning', Williams is referring to the title of a collection of Stevie Smith's poems, as the song is about said poet. What prevents this album being as good as Old Low Light or Little Black Numbers is probably the production - the 'backing' sections to the tracks are often a little samey, and none of the tracks are given the interesting and track-changing beats/backing-tunes/syncopated accompaniments which made those other two albums so interesting. So, if you've not bought any Williams before, don't start here. If you want more, it's worth adding to the collection.
Have now listened to this three or four times and there are simply no weak tracks here. The sparse but lovely arrangements allow Kathryn's beautiful voice to shine through and the songs yet again are clever and catchy. "Sustain Pedal", "Let it Happen" and "Glass Bottomed Boat" amongst the highlights. Wish she would "belt it out" now and again like she did on Hallelujah (Relations) but overall she is wonderfully talented, it's just a shame more people don't know it. Do buy this!
On first hearing, I can understand the varied reviews. However, like so much of her work, following a 3rd "listen" it's got me hooked. Kathryn's strength has always IMHO been the songs, and this has got some very good ones - Sandy L, Glass Bottom Boat, Sustain Pedal and When. Yes, if you are new to Kathryn you probably wouldn't start here, but if you did buy it and were unhappy, put the headphones on and give it another go - it's worth the effort.
I have from the very beginning followed kathryn williams and have pretty much enjoyed her work but im finding it hard to get on with this album even though i have listened to it many times now i think its the track with the lyric he isnt waving he is drowning that just kind of switched me off, not her best album or work