Track Tracks: Drastic Fantastic

An entire album this time: Drastic Fantastic by K.T. Tunstall. I’ve pretty much stopped listening to the radio, since it’s full of people who can’t sing to save their lives. Tunstall is the real deal: a girl with a great set of pipes — and she knows how to use them. She can belt, or hold back, be brassy, be velvety, or get dirty when required.

Tunstall rocks out on “Little Favours,” a deceptively simple song with a minor verse-to-major chorus groove. Good production and sweeping harmonies make this a pure pleasure. Then you’ve got a song like “Hopeless,” which sounds totally different, and has her transforming her voice to fit the song’s retro feel: suddenly she’s Shirley Bassey with a lovely little Dinah Washington trill at the end of her lines. But, wait…where’s that country and western vibe coming from? It all works.

“Someday Soon” is the big single from this album, but frankly, her record company could have found four or five songs to fly out there as singles.

This album is catchy, catchy, catchy. You want to listen to these tunes over again to hear those hooks. And you find yourself humming them hours later…

With so much garbage on the radio — mediocre songs sung badly — Tunstall is a refreshing find. And as a surprise bonus, she’s playing in NYC in November. For a mere $27.50, I’ll be there…

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