September 23, 2007

Review: Drastic Fantastic

As previewed earlier, Drastic Fantastic is the sophomore album by Scottish singer KT Tunstall. It’s a fine addition to her repertoire, and as expected (at least for me) it’s not a clone of her prior work, Eye to the Telescope.

Little Favours – This song feels like a Cranberries song for some reason – there’s elements here that sound like Dreams by them. It’s a good start to the album, with a steady beat that’s not too fast or slow.

If Only – This track starts off cool. It’s got a really neat sound with the guitar, and the vocals don’t really follow any typical routes – it sounds as if she’s singing on a weird key, but its been years since I’ve taken any sort of music class, so I’m not sure. This is another pretty good one.

White Bird – This has some cool guitar picking, really delicate, which fits interestingly with the background drum work. The lyrics here are pretty cool as well, and Tunstall sounds really good throughout the track here.

Funnyman – This song feels a bit restrained, from the muted guitar work and the slight pickup of energy that comes in a minute or so with the song. It’s rich with sound, from the bass and guitar work, and while this sounds like it should be a faster song, it feels laid back a little.

Hold On – The energy picks up with the lead single off this album from the fast guitar and drum work here, and when KT enters, the song really picks up nicely.

Hopeless – This song’s got a pretty good feel to it. The vocals are really what stand out with this song, as Tunstall goes up and down the scale easily.

I Don’t Want You Now – I’m not quite sure what I think about this song yet.

Saving My Face – This one starts off a bit slower, with just the vocals and guitar, but it quickly speeds up when the bass and drums kick in. Has a good sound here, although the vocals seem a little disjointed from the rest of the set.

Beauty of Uncertainty – This song is very different from the rest of the album. It’s more stripped down, with less movement, with the focus completely on KT, with the background music completely supporting her voice, something that’s pretty different from just about everything else on here. This, I think is the best song on the album.

Someday Soon – This song feels pretty delicate, with the focus once again more on the vocals rather than the background music. It works pretty well here, with some superb vocals and some really nice guitar work.

Paper Aeroplane – This one also feels to be pretty delicate, vocally and instrumentally. A flute is introduced, with gives it a good feel. KT’s voice clashes a litter here. The lyrics are solid, and the guitar work is just as good.

Overall, this album feels different from Eye to the Telescope. Where that album was more varied, with songs being either fast or slow, Drastic Fantastic feels like it takes more of the middle road, with a bit less energy, and with more attention paid towards the instruments, rather than the vocals, although this isn’t the case with every song there. The guitar work seems to have a bit more in the way of picking, with some really good work done here.

Furthermore, songs don’t really stand out here, as they did in Telescope. A couple of songs do, such as Hold On and Hopeless, but the first half of the album sort of blends together in a pleasant mix. For KT Tunstall fans, this is a fantastic album, but a different, more sentimental, less wild. It’s a maturing, and it’s an interesting and good direction for Tunstall.

My favorite songs off of this album are White Bird, Hopeless, Hold On and Beauty of Uncertainty. I’m really hoping that she’ll swing back up towards Vermont again, because this time around, I’m going to go see her.