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Drastic Fantastic Import

4.2 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 18, 2007
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Product Description

Drastic Fantastic is a collection of soaring Pop songs and intimate ballads. Produced by Steve Osbourne (producer of Eye to the Telescope) it sees Tunstall's considerable songwriting skills and unique vocals underpinned by a rawer musical backdrop than it's predecessor. Full of powerful lyrics, bold colorful melodies and adventurous musicianship, it's a very definite move forward for Tunstall. Pensive ballads like 'White Bird' and 'Beauty of Uncertainty' are complimented by the infectious lead single 'Hold On', and rollicking pop gems like 'Saving My Face' and the folk-punk of 'I Don't Want You Now'. Virgin.

Don't be put off by the cover photo on K.T. Tunstall's follow-up to the four-million selling Eye of the Telescope. Yes, it's startling to see her sporting Buck Rogers boots and wielding a glittery, oversized silver guitar. And what's up with the comic book images that make up the CD booklet? But if Tunstall is feeling a bit like her overnight success is something out of interplanetary fiction, the new graphic "positioning" doesn’t mean the Scottish singer-songwriter has gone full-blown, diva-fied pop-rock. Rather, she's built on the success of the euphorically catchy "Suddenly I See" and "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" to craft the bouncy kiss-off of "I Don't Want You Now," and the hypnotic beat of "Hold On," with its lyrical warning (shades of Bob Marley's "Judge Not") of karma and responsibility. The new repertoire, like her sensual, slightly slurred singing, is more authoritative, polished, and less bluesy and rough-edged as Eye…, despite a British urban influence. But Tunstall paves her continuum by again using producer Steve Osborne (U2, New Order, Happy Mondays), and with two songs she recorded for the first album--the driving pop-rock of the anti-plastic surgery anthem "Saving My Face" (with its irresistible "ooh-oohs" lifting the mood), and "Funnyman," a pop-alt-folk sonic blend that flirts with electronica. Best of all, Tunstall, who veers from playing a little electric lead guitar to ukulele on the album, is decidedly intent on reprising the spare framework of the songwriter. "White Bird," the most memorable of the four songs that spotlight her poetic, pensive side, amounts to a meditation ("Half of you is heavenly/Showing off your purity"). But whether meant as a metaphor or a literal descriptive paean, a la the romantic 19th-century poets, this melancholy, quiet song finds the 32-year-old musician more confident and on top of her craft than anything on her delicious debut. On the whole, then, this solid sophomore album isn't really such a "drastic" turn. But you just might agree with the second half of her title. --Alanna Nash
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,251 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Making "Drastic Fantastic" in the same studio Arctic Monkeys recorded "Favourite Worst Nightmare" had a knock-on effect on her guitar, she said.
Certainly the stylish Scot's strings sound as they've undergone more of a thrashing this time round.
KT has taken all the dinner party-pleasing mellow elements that made "Eye To The Telescope" such a success and chucked them into the mix with a fat dollop of funk and a layer of grit.
"Drastic Fantastic" finds the 32-year-old from St Andrews again contradicting the stereotype of the navel-gazing singer-songwriter strumming her acoustic guitar.
Spirited KT once described her music as "stompy, sensitive girl-blues", and the portrayal is now even more fitting.
For all its pop tunes, "Drastic Fantastic" is surprisingly raw-boned.
You can hear it on first single "Hold On", with its near R&B beat, and the toe-tapping "Funnyman" with its indie stylings and moody mandolin.
"Little Favours" meanwhile, is a spunky ode to teen lust, while "Saving My Face" tackles the thorny topic of going under the knife.
Vocally, KT sounds even more confident as she travels through the vocal spectrum from sparky to smoky and sultry.
The album's highlight is "Someday Soon", a dreamily layered ballad she wrote about her painful brief split from bandmate Luke Bullen.
Another winner.
This Is the Life
Made of Bricks
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Format: Audio CD
"Eye To The Telescope" sold over 4 million copies and its best song, "Suddenly I See", ended up hard-wired into the intenational consciousness.
None of that happens without some prodigious songwriting talent and, without at any time seeming to erect a "genius at work" sign, she's done it again here. From the bumptious rock-out of "Hold On" to the pensive folky pluckings of "White Bird", this is quality stuff.
At the core of the album is a freshness and inventiveness - chord patterns which avoid the usual clichés and keep you intrigued.
Tunstall has never sounded better, and the Sheryl Crow riffs and mid-tempo chick rock of "If Only" and "Little Favours" serve her well.
But beneath the glitz, buttery harmonies and glaring hits, there's the sadness of "Funnyman", which details the mental anguish suffered by her friend Gordon Anderson (of the Aliens); the self-deprecation of "Hopeless"; and a sense that she is torn between her folk past and pop present
These are not, perhaps, songs to treasure for ever, study intently in the early hours or attach to the important landmarks of your life, but you'll be hearing them over and over and they will grow with repeated listenings.
My favourites tunes are the banging out folk-fuelled belters such as "Hold On" and "Hopeless"; on a more tender tip, "White Bird" is soul-sobbingly gorgeous.
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Format: Audio CD
During Beauty of Uncertainty on her new album Drastic Fantastic, Scottish singer KT Tunstall tells us, "There's no sense in traveling if we've already been that way." That sentiment was very apparent on her debut, Eye to the Telescope, where every song was carefully crafted without repeating themes or sounds yet still having the ability to keep each song under the umbrella of adult contemporary. That helped garner the album a rare 5-star rating (out of two hundred and twenty-one album reviews, I have only given out four 5-Stars).

The quote can also be applied to the new disk where Tunstall wisely doesn't true to recreate the quirky hit Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. And that is the blessing and the curse of Drastic Fantastic. That hit was a huge risk that paid off tremendously but on the new disk Tunstall tends to play it safe carefully crafting each song into something that is more traditionally found on adult contemporary radio.

There are some flashes throughout the album like the funky upright bass found on the first single Hold On, but the bassist on the song rarely gets a moment to shine as the instrument spends most of the song forced into the background of the backing track. Then near the end there is a smoky, slow burner Beauty of Uncertainty that builds like a train coming down the track.

The rest of the album though falls directly into Adult Contemporary heavyweights Sheryl Crow and Matchbox Twenty territory: there is nothing horrible but then again there is nothing that really stands out. The polished edges may garner her more radio play, but KT may want to leave the wax behind for her next album if she want to make another album as good as Eye to the Telescope.
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Format: Audio CD
While "Eye To The Telescope" was oozing with cool, "Drastic Fantastic" is oozing with confidence. Ms. Tunstall comes across as the kind of performer that we seem to be incapable of creating or embracing in the USA any more. I doubt that that is really true, but the industry is only making vapid music from female vocalist available in "Pop Rock", I don't know why we don't hear more of this kind of music on the radio.

Ms Tunstall & band are genuine musicians, and although there are pop sensibilities in the music, in that there are effective hooks to her songs, here is a thinking persons kind of pop, with beautifully poetic lyrics and complex melodies, and a vocalist that actually sings the melody with conviction and emotion, not following the American trend of "vocal gymnastics" to make up for not understanding the message of the song. It probably helps that she actually writes her own material, and therefore doesn't have to guess what the songwriter meant.

If you aren't overly familiar with Ms. Tunstall, you may want to spring for the "Deluxe Edition", which includes a DVD documentary with a legitimate feel to it, letting you have a glimpse of the personality of this very talented woman, as well as seeing her and her band in a very unplugged setting for several songs.

I am thankful that Amazon suggests Artist like KT Tunstall to me to try, and many others that have become some of my secret favorites.

But to the point;
"Drastic Fantastic" is one of those albums that I wanted to hear over and over from the get go; (at least for me) there is no "It grows on you" factor. This is a very edgy sound, alternating between a polished pop~rock and a raw bluesy sound.

All in all, a very addictive CD!
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Glad to see that regular version and deluxe version will be released...
Great to have a new Cd from her, I've got Eye To The Telescope and Acoustic Extravaganza.

And judging by the cover photo, perhaps she's gonna be rocking out like Joan Jett or Lita Ford?...Probably not, but it did intrigue me (the picture).
Sep 11, 2007 by Steven Swan |  See all 4 posts
Glad to see that regular version and deluxe version will be released...
I think the reason Eye to the Telescope CD/DVD was released later was because they didn't think it would do that well. But when the CD started selling more, they decided let's make this new version and sell it because she's more popular now.

Since she's popular now, they know that releasing a... Read More
Sep 17, 2007 by socalledboothy |  See all 2 posts
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