The Record Music Magazine
Record Rating: ****

KT TUNSTALL - DRASTIC FANTASTIC The first single Hold On off KT’s new album might disappoint some fans of her debut album, and the album cover might lead many to think that she sold out to become a ‘ho for the dough’. Luckily the cover photo and the single are the two lamest things on an otherwise enjoyable album. While it’s no stunner and it does lack the rawness as well as the smokiness of Eye To The Telescope, it still manages to be a pleasant Sheryl Crowe-y style departure from the over-diva-fied pop rock maidens of the moment.

The whole feel of the album is a little more rock-y, with the folks-y strumming and slurring vocals of its predecessor giving way to bigger guitars and a more polished vocal style. Yet, she sounds great, with that slightly throaty almost Stevie Nicks-esque vocal edge kicking in at all the right times.

The album kicks on a surprisingly powerful note… as compared to the sleepy dreamy start Eye To The Telescope had. Little Favors is the perfect opening track, with a catchy tune and sweet li’l sing along chorus about love ~ “So take me far away, and hold me close to your heart, and do me just this little favour. For I do, yes I do love you.” The album then hits a steady, albeit pleasurable, mode as it moves through the upbeat second track If Only, the poetic White Bird, the almost alt-pop Funnyman, to the aforementioned annoyingly clubby Hold On.

The witty ‘put me down’ track Hopeless opens the beginning of the superior more grown up second half of the album, with a clap-along-to tune and clever lyrics ~ “Because I’m hopeless, everybody says it’s just another decay, of the soul, but I know I’m hopeless.” The perky speedy rejection song I Don’t Want You Now is incredibly catchy and infectious, almost as much as the track that follows ~ my personal favorite ~ the anti plastic surgery anthem Saving My Face.

The pace slows down considerably for the last three songs, bringing back some of that past smokiness this sophomore effort was missing. The first track, Beauty Of Uncertainty is the closest to anything we had heard off the first album – stripped back, raw and intimate enough to be able to take a breath between lines. The second, Someday Soon is a Norah Jones-y jazz track written about her split with bandmate Luke Bullen. Paper Aeroplane, the album’s final track, closes an otherwise perky album with the disturbing words: “Each time you try to live, the earth will turn below you. The pressure is building and something has to give, something has to give.” How anticlimactic. How deliciously bizarre. How drastically fantastic.

Read our other reviews:

Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace       Dolores O’Riordan - Are You Listening?       Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad       50 Cent – Curtis      


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