Sound — 6
KT Tunstall is a classic, indie-rock singer and guitarist. The first thing that hits you is her voice - fresh, soulful, sexy, and slightly cheeky. Her songs range from the quiet, healing ballads ("Heal Over" & "Through The Dark"), to the daring, rocky numbers ("Suddenly I See" & "Another Place To Fall"), each one brillianty outlining a different emotion, story or character. There are quite a few things that make this CD different to any other artist in her genre. Firstly, she forefronts each track with her own voice and guitar - this album is purely her, not marred by huge inputs from other artists. Secondly, there is a slight soulful edge to each track that will keep it playing through your head for years. However, there are some songs that don't quite live up to the standard. "Through The Dark" was a bad choice, and as the last track, needs to be stronger. At the moment, it is just a floaty piano piece portraying nothing significant. Other not-so-strong tracks include "Universe & U" and "False Alarm," but these may not sound brilliant simply because they are mixed up with the brilliance of tracks such as "Suddenly I See" and "Another Place To Fall." I came across this album after I heard a street musician playing "Heal Over" in Norwich city centre. After many months of searching, the album still evaded my grasp - I did not realise back then that it was because although the album and first single "False Alarm" had been released, she had not yet been recognized for her true talents. After the release of "Black Horse And The Cherry Tree" however, things began to look up. I soon got my hands on a copy, and since then it has become the soundtrack to my life.
Lyrics — 9
As I have said, each songs brilliantly outlines a different emotion and while some may not be musically at par with the others, lyrically they are on the level. And a very high level at that. The lyrics are not straight-forward, this-is-what-I'm-saying lyrics - they make you think about the words, trying to figure out what she's saying. When it eventually hits you, you realise that the chase has released something totally new in the song. Although sometimes they may not fit in completely with the music, there is a well-established connection between the two. Amazingly poignant though sometimes a little confusing, the lyrics are something to be proud of. As for KT's voice, she is just as good live as she is on record. She really gives it her all, and you can feel the emotion straining in her voice to be released.
Overall Impression — 7
This is right up there with any other indie/rock album. Although her style takes a little getting-used-to, this is worth the money. The best songs are by far "Another Place To Fall," "Suddenly I See" and "Heal Over." They are way beyond the class of the other tracks, which slightly makes the rest of the album look bad. I love the fact that she writes, plays and sings all of her songs herself - there's no pretending. I hate the fact that three tracks let the whole album down! She has a vast collection of her own music she could have chosen, but I suppose she had her reasons. If I lost this, I would buy it again, without a doubt. Although she may be a little inconsistent, I love her lyrics, sound and style, and will continue to respect her music until I have good reason to do otherwise.