Monday, 9 November 2009

Jamie Cullum - The Pursuit **Review**

Well, review... I'd say a random collection of thoughts, more like.

I won't get my deluxe edition of Jamie Cullum's new album until next week but thanks to internet I was able to give it a listen over the weekend and on the first few listens my verdict is: SO GOOOOOD! :o)

It's been exciting to follow Jamie's work on this album via Twitter. I still remember the excitement of the almost-finalized product, back then still without a fancy artwork. Just a plain CD titled "It Nearly Killed Me..." (Cute, much?)

Jamie is a unique artist: he keeps on surprising me, yet he never really deviates from his previous direction. I remember being surprised at hearing "London Skies" off Catching Tales for the first time. Was surprised how pop it sounded (hello, Guy Chambers!, hello, guitar!)... The Pursuit again gave me a few surprises like that (Music Is Through, for instance) - I don't really know anyone else who combines jazz, pop, r'n'b and dance quite as well.

The Pursuit starts off with a Cole Porter oldie "Just One of Those Things". If you want to make me love you, go and sing a Cole Porter song. lol I have to admit, I don't love Jamie's version as much as Diana Krall's version but then, the bar might be too high for a guy who's about as *tall* as me. ;o)
"I'm All Over It" is a hit to my ears. It's the kind of song that made me sing along to the chorus right when I first listened to it.
"Wheels" is fresh, exciting and with a slightly different production it could easily find its way to Kris Allen's or Tommy Reilly's albums. The album doesn't really slow down until "If I Ruled The World" starts. And boy, what a beautiful slowing down it is! Jamie's always been good at cover versions (if you can really call them that in his instance). Not really knowing this song before (shame on me!), I wouldn't have known it wasn't Jamie's own; it easily could be a cousin of "Oh God".
The album picks up its previous pace with "You and Me Are Gone", which is easily described as a clap-along, basically. :o) And a dance-along.
Ready for some sexy dancing now? Good, because Jamie's cover of Rihanna's "Don't Stop The Music" will make you do just that. And maybe more (gosh, am I ovulating?). Anyway, not in a million years would I think this wasn't Jamie's own song. I hadn't heard the Rihanna version until yesterday - and to be honest I admire Jamie for finding such a beauty in that pretty crappy pop song. From what I heard of Rihanna's version, seems to me he basically created some of the melody anyway and added a LOT more sexy to it. ;o)
Now we get to "Love Ain't Gonna Let You Down" - the first real love song Jamie's ever written (according to his own words). Too bad it wasn't written for me, because boy, it's great.
"Mixtape" is a song that convinced me to make a playlist one of these days. :o) I used to put together mixtapes and "mixtape" CD's. This song is the kind of pop song that gets me going. Sorry Xenomania and your prefabricated pop, that doesn't get me going at all. (OK there ARE *kinda-sorta* exeptions.)
This is what a Jamie Cullum mixtape looks like:

And can I just say I ADORE the last minute of the song? Brilliant, makes my soul dance. x
"I Think, I Love" This is probably the only nap moment for me. The lyrics are good, but the music puts me to sleep. Had it been on Quiet Nights, would fit in perfectly (not to say I don't like that album!).
The trip-hop (?) of "We Run Things" will wake up anyone who might have a little snooze during the previous song. If you like latin rhythms, strange electronic sounds AND jazz in one, this is the song for you. It's quite catchy, too.
What comes next is 100% loveliness. I already stated that if you wanna meke me love you, you should sing a Cole Porter song (preferably sing it well :o) ) but if you wanna make me FUCKING love you, you should sing a jazzy version of a song from one of my fave musicals: Sweeney Todd, that is. "Not While I'm Around" is a beautiful song - and those of you who have seen the film version might even understand why I tear up internally a little whenever I hear it. :o)
Stephen Sondheim is a genius...I'm not sure if you really can screw up any of his songs. But if you can take them out of their context and make them even better and just as haunting, you win my heart. x
The album ends on a high note - "Music Is Through": a full-on dance song that combines jazz and whatever you call that particular brand of electronic music. On first listen I went "wha?" and then turned into something like this:

"Music Is Through" is a very well titled charming lasts 7:07 minutes but when it's through - and the ending comes as a small surprise as well - you're left wanting more.

The Pursuit will make you dance, will make you a little melancholic, will make you sing along but most importantly it won't leave you feeling like you've been made fun of. And that should mean something. ;o)


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