In 1997, an unknown singer / songwriter releases her debut album "Tidal", a collection of meandering piano-led ballads, not unlike Tori Amos of any of the Lilith Fair stalwarts. In a wave of post Jagged Little Pill hysteria it goes on to sell over three million copies worldwide, although it flopped over here - even the gorgeous single "Sleep To Dream" sank without trace. Three years and one nervous breakdown later she returns with an album which title makes Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie look like lyrics to a Steps song. When The Pawn... is a vast improvement over her last album, it's still a fragile blend of anger and love, but the directionless songs of Tidal have been replaced with a much more upbeat feel and many different musical styles, from pop to rock to 30's lounge bar. True, some songs towards the middle tend to lose momentum (A Mistake, Paper Bag), but overall this is a finely crafted selection of songs, especially the emotively jarring single "Fast As You Can", and the poignancy of a violent relationship that unfolds with "The Way Things Are". One for people who care about what the lyrics say as much as how it is put across.
11 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?