Catching Tales

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
British pianist/vocalist Jamie Cullum's previous effort, Twentysomething, was an uncomplicated mix of piano-driven melodic pop with a jazzy twist and some reworked jazz standards. 2005's Catching Tales follows a similar format but falls short of its predecessor's simple approach by muddying up the production with dated electronic flourishes. Which isn't to say it's a bad album. On the contrary, despite some ill-advised attempts at would-be-hip DJ-style tracks, Catching Tales features more of Cullum's superb songwriting. Essentially a singer/songwriter in the tradition of such icons as Billy Joel and Randy Newman, Cullum is at his best when performing simple melodic songs ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
British pianist/vocalist Jamie Cullum's previous effort, Twentysomething, was an uncomplicated mix of piano-driven melodic pop with a jazzy twist and some reworked jazz standards. 2005's Catching Tales follows a similar format but falls short of its predecessor's simple approach by muddying up the production with dated electronic flourishes. Which isn't to say it's a bad album. On the contrary, despite some ill-advised attempts at would-be-hip DJ-style tracks, Catching Tales features more of Cullum's superb songwriting. Essentially a singer/songwriter in the tradition of such icons as Billy Joel and Randy Newman, Cullum is at his best when performing simple melodic songs with some jazz harmony that make the most of his burnished croon and verbal wit. To these ends, the beautifully melancholy "London Skies" brings to mind Joe Jackson covering a Radiohead song. Similarly, the romantic and folky "Photograph" reveals the often sardonically snotty Cullum to be a top-notch balladeer. It's also at these soft rock moments, when he isn't attempting to gun down the jazz canon, that Cullum's improvisation sounds the best. Also impressive is his mid-tempo swing-cum-soul track "Nothing I Do," which marries Harry Connick, Jr.'s neo-croon to Stevie Wonder's R&B harmonies. If Cullum's only attempt at contemporary hipness was his inspired cover version of the Doves' "Catch the Sun," the album would be a rousing success. Unfortunately though, Cullum's expansive vision finds him collaborating with Dan the Automator on the leadoff track, "Get Your Way." What may have been an attempt to try something new ultimately sounds more like early-'90s hip-hop jazz à la Digable Planets replete with scratchy vinyl record sound and canned beat. Also disappointing is his reworking of the Harry Warren classic "I Only Have Eyes for You," which, while an attempt at a Massive Attack-style trip-hop track, sounds more like U2's equally atrocious 1990 Cole Porter redo "Night and Day." However, when Cullum sticks to his piano and a good melody Catching Tales actually bests Twentysomething and easily shakes the "new-jazz" tag he has been working against.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2005
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • UPC: 602498740996
  • Catalog Number: 000547802
  • Sales rank: 51,800

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Get Your Way (4:01)
  2. 2 London Skies (3:42)
  3. 3 Photograph (5:46)
  4. 4 I Only Have Eyes for You (3:58)
  5. 5 Nothing I Do (5:02)
  6. 6 Mind Trick (4:04)
  7. 7 21st Century Kid (4:00)
  8. 8 I'm Glad There Is You (4:09)
  9. 9 Oh God (3:38)
  10. 10 Catch the Sun (3:46)
  11. 11 7 Days to Change Your Life (5:36)
  12. 12 Our Day Will Come (3:55)
  13. 13 Back to the Ground (4:37)
  14. 14 My Yard (4:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jamie Cullum Primary Artist, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Hammond Organ, Vocals, Xylophone, Moog Synthesizer, Omnichord, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Ian Thomas Percussion, Drums
Alan Barnes Alto Saxophone
Geoff Gascoyne Acoustic Bass
Terri Walker Background Vocals, Voices
Ben Cullum Electric Bass, Background Vocals
Isabella Cannell Background Vocals, Voices
Mark Emms Background Vocals, Voices
Technical Credits
Joe Williams Engineer
Alan Bates Executive Producer
Guy Chambers Composer
Jimmy Dorsey Composer
Al Dubin Composer
Mort Garson Composer
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Bob Hilliard Composer
Stewart Levine Producer
Paul Mertz Composer
Rik Pekkonen Engineer
Allen Toussaint Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Gavyn Wright Orchestra Leader
Dan the Automator Composer, Programming, beats
Geoff Gascoyne String Arrangements
Jez Williams Composer
Teron Beal Composer
Jimi Goodwin Composer
Ed Harcourt Composer
Richard Woodcraft Digital Editing
Jamie Cullum Composer, Programming, drum programming, beats
Ben Cullum Composer, Vocal Arrangements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Jamie Cullum

    This CD is Jazzy and Upbeat. Anyone can get into it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Another outstanding effort....

    How could he top Twentysomething?!? Well, he's certainly done himself proud with Catching Tales. Though not as straightforward and accessible as its predecessor, this CD is a joy to listen to at work, on a long drive, turned down low while reading, etc. There is an impressive range in style of song on this CD, and, as much as it pains me to say this, perhaps he went just a little too far. Not that it's not an exquisite and strong effort, just that it doesn't flow and relate as well as its predecessor (at least after a couple of weeks that I've been replaying it). This being said, it's an impressive and endearing effort - nothing has moved me as fervently as Twentysomething, but this CD is so pleasurable an experience that I can play it over and over and appreciate something new each listen, which I did with the earlier disc, too. To summarize, this effort is very different than its predecessor and that's a good thing. As much as we might like him to stay in the Twentysomething box (or groove), Jamie Cullum has branched out again and, because he's so great, I, for one, am gladly following him....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews