This new album from the singer is beautifully soothing and sees her trying to take a few more risks.

Katie Melua’s singing voice is always one that just simply soothes the soul with its haunting tones that really captures the delicacy and quality of the songs that she creates and as expected this new album doesn’t disappoint.

While a lot of the time it would be easy to know what you are going to get with a Katie Melua album – but in this case there are a few surprises in store as she takes a few more risks musically. Songs such as ‘Golden Record’ and ‘Reefs’ in particular stand out in this regard with a bit more of an uptempo vibe to them that is pleasing to listen to. Out of these two songs ‘Reefs’ certainly goes down an indie route which doesn’t always quite pay off, with the music jarring ever so slightly with the quality of the vocals. This being said, it is interesting to see how Melua is tying to test the flexibility of her vocal range.

But the album is filled with plenty of gems to be discovered. ‘Darling Star’ foe example has a beautiful delicacy about it that is really pleasing to the ear in the way in which it captures the singer’s attention to detail in terms of capturing the emotion lying behind the lyrics. ’14 Windows’ is equally as strong in terms of the way in which it is soothing to listen to, with its lullaby like quality. Yet there also feels as though there is a magical and mystical aspect to the album at the same time, particularly when you listen to songs such as ‘Lie in the Heat’ and ‘Quiet Moves’ – both of which take the listener through an intriguing musical journey.

It would be fair to say that the album feels very reflective and thoughtful as ‘Those Sweet Days’ proves and highlights the joy to be found in the simple things in life and is a real highlight song on the album, while ‘First Dates’ is filled with wistfulness that is again pleasing to listen to.

Overall, there is a lovely shift in style and tone on this album that does leave you wanting more and wondering what is next for the singer who constantly knows how to deliver enchanting songs. This is a singer who shows she has still got a lot of material she needs and wants to share with the world – not bad going considering that this is her ninth album.

by Emma Clarendon

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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