Kitt's third album is release which looks to capitalise on the success of fellow folksters David Gray and Rufus Wainwright
Kitt's third album is release which looks to capitalise on the success of fellow folksters David Gray and Rufus Wainwright. He was seen as one of the top practitioners of potential mass-appeal melancholia, which, to the surprise of many music observers, has yet to break through to the mainstream.
Square 1 was originally conceived to follow on from his last two albums - both dealing with similar subject matters. After recording several songs he fell in love, and this album is the by-product of his observations and experiences.
Album opener (a Alex Chilton cover) 'I'm In Love With A Girl' is a beautiful lament but incredibly personal, presumably targeted to his new wife. Further on he adapts the Gamble & Huff soul classic 'You Got What I Need' to transmit into new single 'Me & My love' a vocally strong, Philadelphia sound groove. It has a really catchy chorus and transcribes into a really masterful contemporary love song.
The album suffers considerably from the lack of diversity on the subject matter and the listener soon feels as though they are being held to hostage to his sickly love observations. This is none more evident on 'Long long Stares' and 'Your Smiling face' which, although has a beautiful string section (courtesy of Tindersticks affiliate Dickon Hinchcliff), is not enough to stop you reaching for the bucket.
He stumbles emphatically on 'Faster & Faster' which - recorded in New Orleans with legendary backing session musicians of the 60's, 70's heyday period - is pleasant enough. However the attempt to imitate a rustic deep south sound falls far flat of fellow alternative country maestro's Calexico - only saved by Richard Comeaux concise and intricate steel guitar.
Although there are moments of brilliance on this album such as album closer 'Hold Me Close' and first single 'Me & My Love' the over cautious may consider this to be a feeble Valentine's Day cash-in. His fourth album will hopefully be a return to form~ TJ Hart4.