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
Import version features different artwork and track running order to the US version. KT Tunstall is a sparkling new songwriter with Chinese blood, a Scottish heart, great legwarmers & a cool name. KT celebrates classic singer-songwriting in the tradition of Rikki Lee Jones, Carol King & Fleetwood Mac with an articulate, accessible, immediate brew of rootsy sass, wistful quandary & after-hours atmosphere. The latest in a line of outstanding contemporary Scottish songwriters including Texas, Fran Healy, Teenage Fanclub & The Beta Band, KT's unique perspective offers a rare emotionally connecting intensity through it's gripping lyrical bite & heartfelt melody. Her debut album 'Eye To The Telescope' is the creative consequence of an inquiring imagination with production duties supplied by Steve Osborne (U2, New Order, Doves). EMI. 2004.