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Comparisons to other female artists are almost inevitable, but Tunstall's lyrics - alternately straightforward and impressionistic - and her melodies - pop-savvy but never canned and rarely radio-friendly - demonstrate her vivid originality. This is before considering her adventurous song structures and sonic textures.
The music Tunstall has created for "Tiger Suit" is "art for art's sake." She clearly cares more about self-expression, integrity and musicianship than selling a million records and having hit singles.
She mixes things up with a bit of genre-hopping, introducing shots and squirts of electronic beats, Eastern strings, oddball keyboard, melodic phrasing via whistling, international blues fusion, and more. She takes many risks, and the songs are idiosyncratic to be certain, yet the results are never jarring and the songs rub against each other well.
The downbeat, off-kilter "(Still a) Weirdo" was an odd choice for European lead single - a double-edged affirmation of individuality, it is one of the few compressed, thoroughly reigned in moments on the album - while the sprightly "Fade Like a Shadow" - an ear-pleasing tune, especially when it's urgent chorus of keyboard chords surges upward - is a safer choice for the other side of the Atlantic.
"Difficulty" finds Tunstall singing scattershot-like about an unpredictable lover over an aggressive set of beats that coalesce to form a heady, urgent melodic hook that both underlines and highlights. It is a bit overlong, but it works well and instantly locks itself in.Read more ›
The ultra catchy "Uummannaq Song" (with nice yay ayes) does feature more synths and beats than usual but the guitar is pushed to the fore and there's even a light Country lilt and an air of familiarity. Similar is "Glamour Puss" (with a nice whistled refrain). The intricately layered "Difficulty" reminds one of Alanis Morisette, while "Fade Like A Shadow" and "Come On, Get In" are bouncy clap-filled Pop like Tunstall's old stuff. "Lost" is a delicate ballad with eerie flourishes, while "Golden Frames" is creepy Bluegrass.
"(Still A) Weirdo" is a lovely little quirky ballad (my favourite), while "Madame Trudeax" is a spoken/sung Blues Rocker. She does tinker with her winning formula a wee bit, but not enough to make her unrecognizable. This is one tiger with a very nice bite.
Unfortunately, 2007's "Drastic Fantastic" did not receive the acclaim that it richly deserved. So after a 3 year hiatus, KT returns with 2010's "Tiger Suit", and she retains her multi-instrumental sound that made her famous to begin with. My favorite tracks are the whistle-stop "Glamour Puss", the fuzz-guitar "Difficulty", the sensitive "Lost", "Still A Weirdo", and the coup de grace, "Fade Like A Shadow." The latter song is quite similar to "Black Horse" with its up-tempo, xylophone, acoustic guitar, dance beat. It's just one of those songs that continues to touch the core of my soul; in fact, I've put the song on repeat from time to time, regardless of what mood I'm currently in.
Folks, KT Tunstall is one of those rare, consummate artists that should NOT be missed!! She also released her 2013 LP, "Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon." It's drastically different than what you are used to hearing (it's mostly acoustic balladry), but it only goes to show how incredible that she has evolved/matured. :)
Until now, Tunstall's discography was mostly comprised of a narrow variety of stripped acoustic and electric pop rock - good in it's own right, but formulaic in its inception. But, a heavy electronica influence has been smeared on KT Tunstall's release this week of Tiger Suit - a divergence from her previous discography, but bound to be an enjoyable direction for a portion of her listeners.
The new LP is a mix of Eurodance electronica roots a la Cascada, tribal elements a la Enya and occasionally, a ghastly poppy glockenspiel a la... I dunno, the A-Teens? (But we won't hold that against her, shes Scottish... they do that sort of stuff, I suppose.)
The first six tracks of the albums are very much created with the aforementioned elements, they reek of Europop - occasionally in a good way, but not always. They have driving beats, lots of electronic elements, and some heavy tribal vocals - especially evident on Uummannaq Song (a track named after a village in Iceland). Complete with a few tracks that feature an abrasive glockenspiel, it's not very digestible, but it is inventive compared to the rest of Tunstall's discography. I have to give credit to a woman who would name an album after a recurring dream:
"Part of the reason for its name is this recurring dream that I've had since I was a kid. There's a tiger outside and I'm with it and stroking it, then I go inside and it's not until I look through the window that I realise `That's mad, I could have been eaten! What was I thinking?'"
We've always liked Tunstall for her quirkiness anyways...
But listening to this album is like watching a child grow through adolescence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love me some KT. Hoping to catch her live the next time she swings throughPublished 6 months ago by Joe Lindsey
Love this album! It's pop and quirky too. They're by all above love like you hear on the radio. I love learning the background to some of these songs. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Nicole Walker
Tiger Suit is way, way good....The song Entertainer, the 11th track is maybe the best thing I've heard KT do, But, probably not, because she did so many fine, fine original... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Gerard Gessler
This is very enjoyable musical art. I think it has various styles with in it that are up beat and fun. Read morePublished on June 16, 2014 by Michael William Stugart
I was really looking forward to her cd and I wasn't disappointed. The album is very diverse in her music, I have been a big fan for many years, Love it!Published on August 21, 2013 by Tim Minn
I'm a KT fan so take this review as you will but Tiger Suits is a great album that I keep listening to and enjoying. Read morePublished on August 17, 2013 by G. Haynes
KT has a style all her own with an amazing sense of timing and rhythm. If your toe ain't tappin' with KT, you need to get a physical! :-)Published on June 29, 2013 by Tony