Self-reliance is a theme that runs through Krantz’s work...
Louis Pattison 2007-03-06
From magazine front covers to reality TV competitions, there’s many different yardsticks to judge fame. But the last few years have proven that if there’s one fairly reliable way of sneaking your music into the Great British Public’s affections, it’s getting a single onto the Radio 2 playlist. That’s the recent achievement of Anna Krantz, whose feisty, piano-led AOR number ‘'Sweeter Devotion'’ found its way onto the airwaves earlier this year.
Krantz has taken a slightly unusual route to the mainstream. A graduate of London’s Chicken Shed Theatre Company, she cut her teeth and flexed her singing voice in stage shows and musicals. Her debut album, however, is a more mature affair. Recorded in the legendary Abbey Road studios, Precious Time With You bears the influence of strong-minded, sultry-voiced female vocalists like Carole King and Joni Mitchell, as well as two of Krantz’s writing heroes, Billy Joel and Dean Friedman.
Self-reliance is a theme that runs through Krantz’s work, from spirit to practise. She not only wrote and composed Precious Time With You, but plays piano, organ, and percussion and arranged a small string section, conducted with restraint from Gavyn Wright. And while '‘Sweeter Devotion'’ is a song, simply enough, about looking for love, it’s not the sort to fall for the first dark, handsome cad to come its way: 'I really wanna thank you dear', sings Krantz, 'but I won’t be dropping anchor here'.
Further in, Krantz sings about relationships breaking down: ‘'How You Gonna Love Me'’ confronts a half-hearted lover who talks the romantic talk but can’t back it up, while the choked ‘'Bruises'’ wears its emotional scars on the surface.
This isn’t all to say Krantz can’t cut loose now and again, mind: see the jazzy, raunchy ‘'Pick Me Up'’ – a tale of all-night dancing that should even get the Radio 2 listeners kicking off their shoes.