Rating: 4 out of 5
British songstress Katie Melua’s unique blend of jazzy folk-pop is here again with the singer’s fifth studio album. Katie has said of Secret Symphony, “This album was going to be my ‘singer’s album’. I had always wanted to do this one day; singing other people’s songs brings something out of you and your voice that isn’t perhaps where you would have gone vocally with your own material.”
Katie has previously named Eva Cassidy as one of her key influences, and you can certainly hear it in her music style. The backdrop to her vocals is largely orchestral, however the folky acoustic guitar and bluesy double bass help bring it back to Katie’s traditional sound.
Some songs may sound a little familiar; and they should as this album does contain a fair few covers including Better Than A Dream and Fran Healy’s Moonshine. Gorgeous takes on classic well-known music with a Katie Melua flavour added. There are also a couple of newly written songs; The Cry Of The Lone Wolf with its drawling country-western feel and Heartstrings – a playful jazzy song that does a great job of demonstrating Katie’s vocal capabilities. All tracks are quite slow, so there is little variety in tempo; however, Katie’s vocal arrangements are expertly crafted to suit her.
Katie’s gentle yet sure vocals and slow-paced simple bluesy tracks make Secret Symphony a fantastic album for background music around the house this summer and will have you feeling relaxed in no time.
For more info on Katie Melua, check out her website at www.katiemelua.com.
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