Sound — 10
Jamie Cullum discovered by Neptunes' Pharrel Williams teamed up with a renowned jazz percussionist and bassist, while playing his Hammond B3. There is about a 50/50 split between Cullums prog-jazz originals and revamped covers of jazz and swing favorites, along with jazz covers of jeff buckley, jimi hendrix, and even radiohead. The jacket claims the cd was recorded almost entirely live and 100% analog, with not digitization in the mixing and mastering process. This really gives it the groovy jazz feel, and shows the talent of the musicians involved.
Lyrics — 10
About Half of the songs were written long ago, or by other modern writers, most of which are known for their lyrics (Radiohead's "High And Dry"). A few more are swing songs that had a few lines of catchy hooks and a focus on the music (I get a kick out of you). As for Cullum's originals, the lyrics are far above what you'd expect from jazz, like in his young anthem "Twentysomething" or in depressingly beautiful "All At Sea" Cullum's voice is impeccable throughout, it's intense and musically sound.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I love listening to this one. This is jazz that leans slightly toward mainstream music, which is why it caught my attention in the first place, so of the few piano playing musicians I'm aware of, this is closest to Ben Folds. Cullum's voice and pianist skills far exceed folds however. My favorite songs are "Wind Cries Mary" (yes a jazz cover of Jimi), "Twentysomething" and "All At Sea." I love the feel of the album, but I don't really like the way that feel, calms down significantly after about track 8. Its one of my top 5 most prized cd's and I'd definitely search through 3 different walmarts again to get a new one. The bottom line is, if anybody can start a mainstream jazz revolution, it's Jamie Cullum.