KT Tunstall's debut album Eye To The Telescope
is the creative consequence of her inquiring imagination. "My songs examine and explore little specific emotions or situations or stories," she explains. "They're kitchen table songs, like a conversation between me and one other person. It's almost like an alien has been sent to get emotional samples from human beings and put it all together on a record."
KT Tunstall Photos
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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