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Katie Melua - Pictures

Katie Melua, Pictures

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

KATIE Melua is, by her own admission, growing more confident with each new album.

Hence her third offering Pictures embraces many of the same values that helped her to become the world’s top-selling female artist in 2006, while drawing on a slightly broader sound.

It’s another assured piece of songwriting that should have no problem emulating the success of previous albums Call Off The Search and Piece By Piece.

Admittedly, first single If You Were A Sailboat did disappoint given its striking similarity to the likes of Nine Million Bicycles. And there are songs on the album that don’t really sound like Katie is stretching herself at all (such as opening effort Mary Pickford or What It Says On The Tin).

But there is also plenty to savour. Spellbound is a really nice song that benefits from some really enchanting melodies and one of the most vibrant choruses on the album. It reverberates with positivity and sunshine values.

There’s a nice bluesy, R&B quality to Scary Films with the guitars, especially, adding some grit to Melua’s smooth vocals – and the lyrics are well worth listening to as well.

Perfect Circle is a shimmering mid-tempo offering with another savvy chorus that’s clear evidence of Melua having some fun (“the more you scratch, the more you itch”).

And Ghost Town employs a reggae-influence that helps to provide another sunshine vibe – it’s lazy guitar riff helping you to kick back and allow Melua’s soft vocals to wash over you.

Dirty Dice picks up on the cinematic vibe running throughout all three of Melua’s albums with an essence of spaghetti-western culture and some sharp stabs of brass, while her take on Leonard Cohen’s In My Secret Life brings the album to a suitably classy finale.

Melua says she’s proud of Pictures and describes it as the third part of the trilogy that began with Call Off The Search. It’s a confidence in her own material that proves totally justified.

Download picks: Spellbound, Scary Films, Perfect Circle, Ghost Town, Dirty Dice, In My Secret Life

Track listing:

  1. Mary Pickford (Used To Eat Roses)
  2. All In My Head
  3. If The Lights Go Out
  4. What I Miss About You
  5. Spellbound
  6. What It Says On The Tin
  7. Scary Films
  8. Perfect Circle
  9. Ghost Town
  10. If You Were A Sailboat
  11. Dirty Dice
  12. In My Secret Life