Kt Tunstall is a Sparkling New Songwriter with Chinese Blood, a Scottish Heart, Great Legwarmers and a Cool Name - "Well, It's Got a Bit More Attitude Than Kate which Just Says Farmer's Daughter to Me," She Laughs. Kt Celebrates Classic Singer-songwriting in the Tradition of Rikki Lee Jones, Carol King and Fleetwood Mac with an Articulate, Accessible, Immediate Brew of Rootsy Sass, Wistful Quandary and After-hours Atmosphere. The Latest in a Line of Outstanding Contemporary Scottish Songwriters Including Texas, Fran Healy, Teenage Fanclub and the Beta Band, Kt's Unique Perspective Offers a Rare Emotionally Connecting Intensity Through It's Gripping Lyrical Bite and Heartfelt Melody.
If the art of the female singer-songwriter revolves around coffee-table soliloquies then Eye to the Telescope
--the debut album from Edinburgh-born chanteuse/guitarist KT Tunstall--is a pleasing mediation between the traditional demands of brooding egocentricity (espresso) and frothy commerciality (cappuccino). KT Tunstall has star quality. "Suddenly I See" is an effortlessly liberating pop fillip while, conversely, "False Alarm" redresses ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All" for losers who had nothing to lose to begin with. However, Tunstall isn't entirely convinced by the compromise ("I'm struggling to cater for the space I'm meant to fill" she sings) and "Miniature Disasters"--one of several strong numbers showcasing her aptitude for wrapping up pop tunes in either folky bluesiness or ponderous jazz--catalogues her desires for unfettered self-expression. The opening cut "Other Side Of The World" might sound like Dido without the giftwrapped grief (she's none too flattered with the comparisons) but Eye to the Telescope
is spiritually closer to Carole King and Elvis Costello than Katie Melua. And that's no bad thing. --Kevin Maidment