Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Eliza Doolittle - Eliza Doolittle

Eliza Doolittle is the self-titled debut album from Eliza Doolittle. It follows her 2009 EP of the same name, which could get confusing. This time around, you're looking for 13 tracks, starting with Moneybox.

Obviously the rather busy cover art pictured left could help, too - it's got Eliza on it, just in case you didn't know what she looks like. As for the music, it's not that bad, it's just a bit... perky.

High Points

There's no point pretending that this isn't a pop album. Don't be fooled by the proper band playing the backing music, or the careful clarity of the vocal track. Luckily, those two aspects are among the things that make this album good. Eliza doesn't sound autotuned, which is always good, and her pouty jazz kitten style of delivery is pretty good mostly, it only slightly lapses into sounding a bit cocky and self-satisfied.

I'd say eight of the tracks on this album are basically the same song - a jolly guitar-led backing track, Eliza bubbling away with some slightly sarcastic vocals and... wait, that's it. However, that's not to say that there are no high points. I usually think the opening of an album is a high, but here it's the ending - and I don't mean that to sound harsh. Closing track Empty Hand is the most carefully paced on the album, and genuinely touching. It's only unfortunate that it stands in such stark contrast to the inanely upbeat rest of the disc, which seems self-consciously summery for a mid-July release date.

The Verdict

Would it be harsh to judge Eliza Doolittle based entirely on the fact that eight of the tracks sound the same? I don't know... I think maybe it would. I mean, she's clearly got a genre to adhere to, and that's fine. Those eight tracks are not bad, by any means, they're just so similar. The others - including the slower-paced So High, the lilting Nobody and the aforementioned Empty Hand - help to lift the standard, but the cheeriness of most of this album somehow becomes quite monotonous.

I do think that Eliza Doolittle has its merits - the album, not the artist, although she does too - but I suspect it's best delivered in small doses. Worryingly, there's enough catchiness and hummability to suggest that one of those eight tracks could become the theme of the summer. I'm not sure any of them would stand up to that kind of repetition.

Final Score: 61%

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