Katie's third slice of mellow pop...
Lizzie Ennever 2007-09-28
I have always reserved judgement on Katie Melua. This her third album, and since her first two have both reached No 1 in the UK charts, she’s obviously doing something right. She certainly has a great voice and her lyrics seem to make far more sense than most. Everything she sings about seems to come from somewhere real, and she makes statements about things without actually ‘making a statement’. Throughout the album, there are the same everyday themes that someone like Lily Allen sings about, but with none of the brashness and ‘in your face-ness’ that Ms Allen adopts. Katie’s songs are far more subtle.
“Mary Pickford (Used To Eat Roses)” is a great opener (despite its overwhelming similarity to The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”) – it’s funny, quirky and immediately makes you think that perhaps there’s something different about this singer-songwriter that will set her apart from the rest. However, the next couple of songs are slightly disappointing – nice melodies but a bit bland and forgettable – “All In My Head” in particular.
It picks up again, however, with “What I Miss About You”, which definitely feels like it’s been written by someone who’s gone through a break-up (perhaps it was inspired by her 2005 split from Kooks frontman Luke Pritchard?). “Scary Films” and “Spellbound” are also highlights and demonstrate Katie’s varied musical interests and influences. Reggae vibes on “Ghost Town” add another flavour to the melting pot of sounds that is Pictures.
Single “If You Were A Sailboat” doesn’t really stand out – it seems a bit like the one that sounded the most like other singer-songwriter offerings was chosen – a safe bet, which is a shame as there are other, more adventurous tracks here that would appeal more to her fans. After listening to Pictures I’m still not sure what I ultimately think about Ms Melua, but I am definitely erring on the side of ‘good’ rather than ‘undecided’.