The Scarlet Tulip review by KT Tunstall

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  • Released: May 1, 2011
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (18 votes)
KT Tunstall: The Scarlet Tulip

Sound — 10
Recorded in her very own studio and self produced by her and her husband, KT Tunstall's exclusive EP "The Scarlet Tulip" is a luscious and intimate collection of solo recordings. Staying true to her deep folk roots, Tunstall's seven songs have a warm and earthy feel. With the opening track "The Punk", the listener is given a good welcome, and is taken by the hand through songs like the loving "Skinny Lou" that really shows off her smoky, delicate vocals. Then it's onto "The Hidden Heart", a robust song about "a tree that thinks people suck", and to the record's title track "The Scarlet Tulip" a deeply personal and lovely tune. The record comes to a close with a blues-y number called "Patience" and an aching lament almost sung entirely with falsetto called "Alchemy". "Shanty Of The Whale" is the acapella finale to the record, which was an interesting move on Tunstall's part, being that her guitar skills have always been her signature. I must say, the sound is like no other.

Lyrics — 9
I wouldn't say Tunstall is a lyricist quite like Dylan, but she writes lines that are thoughtful yet simple. Ambiguous at times, but always saying just enough, and always true to a theme. She uses playful and creative metaphors to dress the personal nature of each song, each so well thought out and begging thoughtful interpretation. Her simplicity and honesty make this album and all of her others easy to which any listener can relate.

Overall Impression — 10
The fact that this is a very exclusively released solo record really adds to the intimacy of it. One can tell that Tunstall put real love and care into each track. Her voice is raw and enchanting, the lyrics are thoughtful and honest, and the effect is the listener making a deep connection to the music. It stirs something deep within, with an emotional openness that is both brave and inspiring. I can honestly say that the record really resonated with me, and left me feeling as special and cared for as each song really was by this artist, and will go down as one of my favorite records.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    you got pop singers all over UG saying they're rock, and i still think Tunstall is the closest to genuinely deserving a spot on UG