26 October 2005

jamie cullum - "nothing i do" (from the catching tales lp, available for purchase here.)

in brief : granny's favorite makes good by being bad.

so, for those who don't know jamie cullum--this is where his detractors, of which there are many, and not entirely undeserved--this is where they would say, "consider yourself lucky," or something like that.

jamie cullum is a british jazzbo, like norah jones, but significantly less cool: his debut was something you'd buy for your granny, not for your older sister, and, at his worst, he's like the aural equivalent of jazz hands. for someone who's in his mid-twenties and, indeed, named his debut twentysomething, he's preternaturally mature, all antics aside, and he seems intent on being ingratiating. the bradys' cousin oliver, then.

on his new album, though, he's a new man ... sort of. he's working w/ dan the automator, he's pitching himself as a ladies man--and that's just on the lead single alone. (also, there's a supper club version of "catch the sun," a companion to his supper club version of "high & dry" from the debut.) still, there are vestiges of his old self, so to speak, on even the track i've decided to post. and i've decided to post it, b/c God help me, the tune is fucking great.

still, it could easily be two minutes shorter, the attempts at swearing come across like a kid who's just learned his first dirty word, the whistling at the end serves no purpose--in other words, if he was trying to please w/ his debut, he's trying to impress w/ this one. and much does impress, particularly the chords on the chorus, the backing vocals, the prechorus, and so forth. he's closer to being billy joel than thom yorke, and many of the other tracks on the album betray the piano man's influence. however, there are worse things--like being billy joel, apparently--and, before the supermodels, the furniture polish, and the classical pretensions, billy joel did write songs like "summer, highland falls." once he gets accustomed to acting his age, i'm sure he'll be just fine.

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