Monday, 29 July 2019

KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic (2007)

Beauty of uncertainty....


Released on 18 September 2007

Running time 45.09

This was KT Tunstall's second album and, rather than going down the earnest, breathy Dido route of mid-2000s female singer-songwriters, she harnessed the rockier elements of her 2005 debut, Eye To The Telescope and went full-on pop/rock, certainly for the first two-thirds of the album. The cover gives a clue to that as KT poses like a seventies heavy metal axe man, silver glam-rock style guitar glistening.


1. Little Favours
2. If Only
3. White Bird
4. Funnyman
5. Hold On
6. Hopeless
7. I Don't Want You Now
8. Saving My Face
9. Beauty Of Uncertainty
10. Someday Soon
11. Paper Aeroplane                                  

Little Favours kick off with a big, deep drumbeat, backed up with crystal clear acoustic guitars and then jangly, solid electric riffs. The beat is lively and KT's vocals are strong and confident. It is probably the rockiest number on the album. If Only has a quirky, staccato beat and one of those swirling, airy, slightly slurry vocals. The chorus has KT going higher with her voice and is poppy and catchy. White Bird slows the tempo down considerably on a slightly jazzy and bluesy sleepy number. Very Americana. A bit of a hint of Lucinda Williams in places. The acoustic guitar, bass and brushy drum interlay is excellent. Funnyman opens with some buzzy, U2-ish guitar before the track delivers a shuffling backbeat. It kicks in to a muscular rock sound eventually, with a bit of Celtic-sounding mandolin enhancing it. The sound of songs like this is very 2000s but also slightly retrospective too.

Hold On continues in the same upbeat, vibrant, chunky style. Hopeless has a delicious deep bass line and a bit of the infectious style of the big hit Suddenly I See about it. KT's voice is impressive as indeed is the accessible sound and feel of the song. I Don't Want You Now is also poppy and appealing. Ideal Radio Two fare. Saving My Face is very Deacon Blue-ish in its "wooh-ooh" backing vocals, and in the track's general sound, merging acoustic and electric guitars.

Beauty Of Uncertainty is a slow-pace acoustic and bass bluesy song, full of laid-back atmosphere and another great vocal. It is another in a long line of Americana-influenced numbers. By the end of the track it has developed a big, U2-esque sound, however. The relaxing, gentle strains of Someday Soon has a Bruce Springsteen-like strummed acoustic guitar and backing drums meeting a Mary Chapin Carpenter ambience and lyric as KT shows off her vocal versatility. Paper Aeroplane continues the laid-back last third of the album with a slow, haunting number. What began as a tub-thumping poppy album has ended as an airy, reflective one. Overall, though, this has largely been a vibrant offering and a generally ebullient one. KT Tunstall really is a very underrated artist.