Friday, August 13, 2010
Album Review: Eliza Doolittle - Eliza Doolittle (4/5)
British singer Eliza Doolittle's self-titled debut packs in a cool soulful collection of coherent acoustic-pop, soul and folk influenced songs presenting the same lyrical quirk strung from the same vein as the acoustic-pop and lyrical quirk of fellow English singer Kate Nash. The folky "Money Box" kicks things off, stringing together the drums, bass and jaunty guitars--setting the albums lighthearted tone early on, the more mellow "Rollerblades" lays off the guitars and ups the precussion.
The old-fashioned static covering the opening piano notes of "Go Home" evokes a 1950's feel but not without a modern touch as the drums and guitars are charged in the chorus. Following up on that 1950's sound is current single "Pack Up" sampling George Powell's "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag" bringing the collision horns, jaunty basslines, strings and piano keys. I love how the chorus of Powell's "Pack Up..." is used in the song, it works very well.
Suggestive lead single "Skinny Jeans" is a welcoming telling of how problems in relationship can be overlooked as long as the sex at the end of the day is good ("Sometimes I fake that I hate you and make up so you end up next to me"). Next up is "Mr. Medicine" is noticeably upbeat in comparison to everything else. Guitars, strings and kinetic handclaps re-calling the same joyous upbeat feel of American singer Colbie Caillat. Radio friendly "Back to Front" is a nice slice of melody-charged contemporary acoustic-pop--even stringing the whistles from "Skinny Jeans" to round out the chorus. I can see this being future single. Soulful ballad "A Smokey Room" hits all the right notes with its excessive precussion, horns and guitars, so does "So High" which is even more ballad sounding--drenched with more soul almost re-calling the same soul as Sade.
Even with such a coherent premise, there are a few bum notes but nothing major, more songs that just don't hit as hard as some the others such as such the filler material "Missing" and "Nobody." Closing the album is the whimsical "Police Car" a plodding mid-tempo, it's interesting but pretty much the same alignment of precussion, guitars and horns. Eliza Doolittle is a nice debut, showcasing a lot of versatility both vocal and production wise. Definitely a must-listen.
Best: Pack Up, Skinny Jeans, A Smokey Room, Back to Front, Mr. Medicine, Go Home