Frankly, any album which has an exploding piano featured as part of it's artwork should not really need reviewing. Add in the most famous and popular British jazz musician of the last decade and really, when you think about, we already know this is going to be fantastic.
Jamie Cullum, everyone's favourite piano stomping, gravelly voiced, jazz making hobbit has finally returned with his new album "The Pursuit", his first album since his cracking 2005 release of "Catching Tales".
There is nothing in his back catalogue which has been disappointing; `These Are The Days', `Pointless Nostalgic', `Oh God', `My Yard' and `Twentysomething' were all amazing songs; so with high hopes I clasp on to his new album which was released this week.
Here is a track by track walk-through of his new record.
01. Just One Of Those Things.
Amazing Cole Porter song, beautifully arranged and performed by Cullum. Classic sounding, smooth and catchy, the song returns Cullum's sound to that of those tracks seen on "Twentysomething". Reminicant of `Too Close For Comfort'. Excellent opening track.
02. I'm All Over It.
Jamie's lead single from the album, simple and lovely, it's not his strongest track ever, but it's a catchy little ditty with a great piano riff and jazz undertones, yet remaining quite commercial. Wouldn't be out of place on a James Morrison or Will Young album.
Awesome track. Original and wonderful, Jamie's vocals are deep and soothing. The chorus is lovely and the piano riff is ambient and refreshing. The amazing percussion on this track sounds like a train... stunning.
04. If I Ruled The Word.
Lovely arrangement of this beautiful blues/ballad. Soft and moving. The track shows off Jamie's ability to make classic jazz sound current, and to make gentle blues refreshing to hear. Very piano bar. Very lovely.
05. You And Me Are Gone.
Mad and amazing. Uptempo and finger-clickingly good. Like `Twentysomething'. In the album credits, it states, "Handclaps and general revelry: The Band". That alone should give you a very good idea of what to expect from this song!! Jazz-pop at it's best. Really great track. As catchy as swine-flu!! This will be one of the tracks which will see Jamie climbing over his piano on stage. Cannot wait to see this live!! By far my favourite track on the album!
06. Don't Stop The Music.
Yes. This is Rihanna's "Please Don't Stop The Music"- jazzified. It's actually much better than you would expect; slower, piano, bass, drums and Jamie. Simple and fantastic. Really impressive cover. In many ways it's so much better than the original, just because it's vocally played with in a much better way than Rihanna does it!
07. Love Ain't Gonna Let You Down.
Another blues-ballad. It's an alright track. But nothing really stands out about it. Not that it's bad at all... it's just clearly an album filler.
For almost no reason at all, this reminds me of `Photograph' - but it sounds nothing like it at all. The song is uptempo and enjoyable, flows very smoothly between verses and chorus. Good song, very enjoyable, a jazz anthem.
09. I Think, I Love.
From the original overpowering piano solo at the start; I loved this track. It's not over-the-top at all, it's not a Leona Ballad, but it's a gentle and modern love song and it's really lovely, and beautifully performed.
10. We Run Things.
Very experimental jazz. Will grow on me a lot I imagine. Very enjoyable, uptempo number, again another one which is going to be ace performed live.
11. Not While I'm Around.
Great song. Love it. Vocally great, beautifully crafted and arranged. Jamie's vocals really are moving on this track. A slower tempoed track, w