Eye to the Telescope

Eye to the Telescope

4.3 30
by KT Tunstall
     
 

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This Scottish singer-songwriter's debut album -- the culmination of a slow-but-steady progression from the backwater of her rural hometown to the darker corners of post-millennial London -- is nothing short of a revelation. Tunstall herself has said that she doesn't want to be seen as another "girl with a guitar," and while she's perfectly credible when presenting

Overview

This Scottish singer-songwriter's debut album -- the culmination of a slow-but-steady progression from the backwater of her rural hometown to the darker corners of post-millennial London -- is nothing short of a revelation. Tunstall herself has said that she doesn't want to be seen as another "girl with a guitar," and while she's perfectly credible when presenting herself as just that (as on the plaintive "Miniature Disasters"), she certainly succeeds in separating herself from the post-Alanis pack. Admirably, Tunstall's incursions aren't unidirectional. The filmy dreamscape "Silent Sea" proves her capable of drifting off into the ether, while the pulsing "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" showcases her flair for raw-nerve blues-rock, which comes across in both her vocal delivery and her stinging guitar work. The latter song, while emotionally naked, incorporates a few intriguing technological tricks -- cleverly deployed loops and grooves -- that bring Eye to the Telescope into the modern world without rooting it firmly in that realm. It's a truly timeless disc that'll sound as intriguing ten years down the line.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Perhaps it's inevitable that K.T. Tunstall's Eye to the Telescope will draw initial comparisons to Dido, since they're both female adult alternative singer/songwriters who bear a certain similarity in their vocal timbres. But as Tunstall's debut starts to unfold, those superficial connections fall away, as she reveals herself to be a soulful vocalist, a restless musician, and a serious songwriter. At times, she may be on the verge of being a little too serious, as her songs are tightly wound and earnest, two qualities that can seem slightly stuffy when her production has a glossy veneer, as it does on opening songs of the album. These cuts, while accomplished and enjoyable, paint Tunstall as a good but ordinary songwriter, halfway between Dido's elegantly sleepy soundscapes and Sheryl Crow's tuneful craft, which is an inaccurate impression, as the album quickly proves. About a third of the way in, the album kicks into gear and Tunstall is revealed as a kindred spirit of such eccentric contemporaries as Fiona Apple and Nelly Furtado. She's more straightforward than either Apple or Furtado, partially due to the album's overly slick production, but also in her sober, uncluttered songwriting, yet her musical instincts, along with her impassioned vocals, edge her out of the mainstream. Slower songs like "False Alarm" aren't sleepy; they have the lazy, jazzy undercurrents of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while faster cuts like the single "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" or "Suddenly I See" have an urgency that makes them compelling, despite the shiny production. But that production is the only drawback on Eye to the Telescope -- it certainly sounds good, it certainly sounds professional, but it may keep some listeners at a distance, since it requires that they look hard to find the unique songwriter beneath the glistening surface. And if they spend the time to really hear what's going on in Eye to the Telescope, they'll find a promising, satisfying debut.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/07/2006
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0094635072921
catalogNumber:
50729
Rank:
45829

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

KT Tunstall   Primary Artist,Various
David Angell   Violin
John Catchings   Cello
David Davidson   Violin
Steve Osborne   Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals,Moog Synthesizer
Kristin Wilkinson   Viola
Luke Bullen   Percussion,Drums,Cajon
Martin Terefe   Keyboards
Arnulf Lindner   Bass,Guitar (Baritone)
Graham Deas   Background Vocals
Paul Gilbody   Background Vocals
Marty Philip   Background Vocals
George Vjestica   Guitar

Technical Credits

Tommy D   Composer
David Davidson   String Arrangements
Steve Osborne   Producer,Engineer
Andy Green   Producer
Martin Terefe   Composer,Producer
Bruno Ellingham   Engineer
Simon Banks   Management
Andreas Olsson   drum programming
Jimmy Hogarth   Composer
KT Tunstall   Composer
Rolanda Hill   Executive Producer
Simon Emmel   Cover Photo

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Eye to the Telescope 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
she catches you from the first note of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. As you listen all you want to know is who is it and where can I get it?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first heard of K.T. Tunstall when she made an appearance on the Today Show singing Black Horse and the Cherry Tree live. Her one-woman show, using some audio technology, remined me of Melissa Etheridge in the early day of her career. This woman has a long wonderful career ahead of her if this is any indication of the music she will be putting out in the future.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After almost losing all hope in the music industry because of Brittney, Jessica and Lindsey, I have found new hope. KT is one of a kind, with new melodies and unique style. I love that she writes and plays all of her music, a true musician. I love this online album so much I am also purchasing the CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't gotten this excited about a new artist in a long time. And the "professional" reviewer who wrote the review on this site, Stephen Thomas ErleWHINE, is just another example of a critic who has to always create controversy with long, ridiculous contradictory phrases: "It's this YET it's that ...", "It's blah, however, it's blah ...". I'm so sick of the over-analysis of creative works. I'd love to know how many music critics have ever played an instrument or written a (good)song. I think it should be a requiremnet that they do and are "critiqued" by their peers before they can become a critic professionally. Wonder how many would be left? Music is good when it moves you-simple as that. And this record ROCKS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She is awesome. Caught her on Direct TV Free view and was totally blown away. I cannot stop listening to this CD & am driving my friends crazy
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm quite picky about who I listen to in this day and age..with all the little "pop stars" running around. I happen to pick this cd up while in the store and was hooked on the first note Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. As said in the review at the store, she is comparable to the singer Dido, but I feel she has a much more raw voice and tone to her! As must have for any avid listen of music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to have this C.d. after I saw her on a DirectTV Freeview session. She can really play the guitar and is quite artistic. All her songs are great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sensational music, and considering NYC has seen its share of good musicians, KT Tunstall really is amazing. All the songs are a breath of fresh and soothing air.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this CD after hearing "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and seeing how well received the CD was. Unfortunately, I felt that the only good song was "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and it's less than three minutes long. I think Anna Nalick is a better artist. Tunstall has a great voice, but Nalick (who also has a great voice, just not as gritty or textured) has better style and songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of course, I bought this CD because of the wonderful song, Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. I agree with Mel. That was pretty much the only good song on the CD. I mean, I kind of liked the song Suddenly I see, but it seemed as if the rest of the songs were slow, boring, definitely off-beat, and just plain weird. I don't know if you should buy it or not. I would only if you are absolutely crazy of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank goodness KT is here to save us from all the wannabe "music" on the radio today (like a previous reveiwer said). I was beginning to get a little sick of all the "Public Affairs" and "Do Your Chain Hang Low?" trainwrecks. Her lyrics are amazing and really heartfelt. I LOVE HER. My favorite song is Heal Over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
KT Tunstall should not sing. The video should be taken off of MTVU's playlist
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is some of the freshest, best sounding music that i've heard in a long long time. I saw KT on PBS and she played 3 songs live: one word... WOW! Also, for me to really dig a singer or band they must write their own stuff, and that is another reason i dig KT. rock on, KT Tunstall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i listen to this cd all day.
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