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4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 5, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 U.S. pressing of the British singer/songwriter's acclaimed third studio album. Equal parts Pop, Folk and Blues, Pictures builds upon Katie's successes as one of Britain's finest female artists and shows her experimenting and growing as a songwriter extraordinaire. With a few albums in her back pocket, Melua shows more confidence on this release, often adding experimental touches to her signature sound. 12 tracks including the first single 'If You Were A Sailboat'.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mary Pickford
  2. Its All in My Head
  3. If the Lights Go Out
  4. What I Miss About You
  5. Spellbound
  6. What It Says on the Tin
  7. Scary Films
  8. Perfect Circle
  9. Ghost Town
  10. If You Were a Sailboat
  11. Dirty Dice
  12. In My Secret Life

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 5, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Motown Records
  • ASIN: B0020H46KQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,945 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've been a Katie Melua fan for a while now. I have to say, this is my favorite of her 3 full studio albums. Technically, this is not a new Katie Melua album, but it's new to the States. Kudos to her record company for putting it out here and at such a low price. It's so much better than having to plunk down extra money for the import.

I hear a noticeable difference on this album from her previous two. Katie has grown - vocally, musically and lyrically. Her voice is perfect; she sings impeccably. If I'm not mistaken, all the tracks on this album are original songs except for Katie's bold and beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen's "In My Secret Life".

Several songs stand out for me: "If the Lights Go Out" - a jingly/jangly Pop song about the end of the world. Reminds me of 10,000 Maniacs "Like the Weather" - a song about clinical depression done with a Pop sensibility. "What I Miss About You" is an awesome anti-breakup song. Lyrically, I am reminded of Alanis Morissette but musically, I hear Brandi Carlile. The lyrics are cold but Katie's voice is warm and flows with deep emotion. I'd hate to be the guy on the other end of that song. And how about, "If You Were a Sailboat" a deeply poetic love song.

Katie Melua is an artist with longevity - her UK career proves that. Pictures is the next chapter in what will be a long journey for a very talented and gifted artist.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the American version of her 2007 release.
It is a thematic album full of cinematic references - touching upon old-school Hollywood, horror and cowboy movies.
But there's more to the album's 12 songs.
Katie herself points out that "Pictures" is 'darker' than her first two albums and also that it features a lot more of her own input.
It is not significantly darker, but there is a hint of things to come now that Katie is branching out on her own after her three-album collaboration with Mike Batt, her manager, primary songwriter and producer.
On this one, the 24 year-old singer/songwriter seems to have realised that she's outgrown her mentor : in a way, the six songs she's penned for "Pictures" sound altogether more vital, more interesting and more affecting than Batt's seven offerings.
Throughout the album, there are the same everyday themes that someone like Lily Allen sings about, but with none of the brashness that Lily adopts. Katie's songs are far more subtle.
Its first single "If You Were a Sailboat" is typically Katie, is a nicely packaged song about - you guessed it - love, and a rather safe bet...But it may disappoint her fans, given its striking similarity to the likes of "Nine Million Bicycles".
"Mary Pickford (Used To Eat Roses)" is a good opener, it's funny, quirky and immediately makes you think that perhaps there's something different about this singer-songwriter that will set her apart from the rest. However, the next couple of songs are slightly disappointing, nice melodies but a bit bland and forgettable.
It picks up however with the bittersweet "What I Miss About You" which definitely feels like it's been written by someone who's gone through a break-up: the hopeless romantics will particularly love it.
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Prime Cuts: What It Says on the Tin, Scary Films, If You Were a Sailboat

Born in Soviet Georgia and grown up in the United Kingdom, Melua's accent gives her a leg up over her contemporaries. For instance, the way she vocally influxes her ending notes is truly beguiling. Further, Melua is also an assiduous student of contemporary music. Perfecting the torch-like balladry of Norah Jones and picking up the hook-laden musical proclivities of Jann Arden, Melua certainly has created yet another album that is a nice crossover of contemporary jazz and pop music. While many singer-songwriters tend to indulge in lofty issues over non-melodic constructions, Melua's charm is that she takes simple (and at times even naïve) observations and builds little love stories around them. Relative to her previous couple of albums, nothing much has changed. Her longtime scribe Mike Batt is still responsible for the lion's share of the songs' genesis. However, this time the boundaries have been stretched when a languid version of Leonard Cohen's nod to post-modernity "In My Secret Life" is included.

While some men are praised by their paramours for their sensitivity or good lucks, Melua in "Scary Films" lauds praises over her lover for helping her chase away her nightmares. Though the lyrics on a cursory level may sound childish but coupled with Melua's girlish vocal twirls over its enchanting dreamy melody, "Scary Films" is so enchanting that one feels transported right into a fairy tale. Again utilizing the same "horror" theme is "Ghost Town," a forlorn broken hearted jazz ballad with a slight touch of Hank Williams' blues.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Katie is one of the best new vocal talents out there. She actually _sings!_ On this album, all the tracks are written by or for her, except maybe the last one. She's also a writing talent. Unlike some singers who also write, Katie writes for her own voice and style, so the end product really works well. I'm looking forward to many more albums from this young star!
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