Scottish songwriter KT Tunstall was catapulted to the forefront of the folk-pop scene in 2004 with her debut album Eye To The Telescope. KT followed that gem up with 2007’s Drastic Fantastic, but it didn’t quite match the critical and commercial success of its predecessor. And now, three years later, we come to Tiger Suit.
KT’s feeling a bit more dancey on this one; she’s seen what those young tykes Lady GaGa and Ke$ha have done with a drum machine, and she wants in. The first few tracks such as ‘Glamour Puss’ and the excellent ‘Push That Knot Away’ combine Phoenix-esque disco beats with Tunstall’s own cutesy folk stylings. On the few tracks where it works, this juxtaposition is excellent, but on the majority of the album, we can hear KT’s stripped-down bluesy Yin unceremoniously battling her newfound electro-pop Yang.
When she sticks to what she knows, KT really shines on Tiger Suit. Slower numbers like ‘Lost’ and ‘(Still A) Weirdo’ showcase her haunting and beautiful voice, which is as enchanting as any Imogen Heap or Regina Spektor when allowed to blossom. Even the quicker, hoedown inspired folk-country tracks such as ‘Come On, Get In’ and ‘Madame Trudeaux’ are worth a listen.
Unfortunately, KT’s ambitious musical adventurousness has led her away from what she’s good at, and towards a sound which is pleasant enough while you’re listening but instantly forgettable once you’re done.