Nerina Pallot I first discovered, like many, back in 2006 with Everybody's Gone To War. I fell in love with the album Fires when I bought it on the strength of that single. I have been dying for some new material and this album hasn't disappointed.
I was alarmed when I read on the net over the year Nerina talking about going pop this time out.. well she hasn't abandoned her sound from fires but she has updated it a little. Lots of the tracks this time out sound more accessible than the stuff on Fires... you can see radio playing her a bit more this time out and hopefully, Nerina will deservedly widen her fanbase...
Nerina still maintains her spunkiness/ feistiness in many tracks on this album and there are moments showing sincere vulnerability again this time.
My personal favourites: Everything's Illuminated: a catchy opening track, single potential I suspect. Real Late Starter: I love this track, a great choice for first single. Good ol' feisty Nerina telling it like it is. I Don't Want To Go Out: First thought it was a tad too poppy, but it's insanely catchy. It Starts: the lush strings and sparse piano-led arrangement hark back to the beauty of Sophia, not a bltant rip off, a beautiful track in its own right When Did I Become Such A Bitch: More feisty nerina, another possible single, I love the piano riff. Cigarette: First listen, seems a little weird and over produced .. but its actually a very soothing, calming track..
If you buy the physical cd, and put it into cd drive and follow instructions on cd booklet, you can download bonus track "Long Tall Grass Of Summer" off Nerina's website, it's a nice , relaxing track... well worth downloading.
I Also found God Of Small Things on Itunes as a bonus, it's a beautiful, wistful piano ballad... another gem worth searching out if you like Nerina's work
All in all, I think this album is a cracker... I'm glad Nerina didn't sell out and produce bubble gum pop drivel that I feared she was talking off.
Everything good about Fires is evident here: great vocals, clever and catchy lyrics, fab instrumentation and melodies.. There's something a little more accessible this time though. I can't put my finger on it, some production touches make it sound more radio friendly, up to date... and I do hope Nerina can garner some new fans and enjoy some well deserved commercial success at last... this album was well worth the wait and is certainly a job well done.