Not Over Him Yet

2 Mar

I wish Jamie Cullum made it easier for me. For the past four months, I’ve been hard-pressed to find one favorite track on his new album, The Pursuit. I started off liking the raucous swinger “You and Me Are Gone” the most, then moved on to first single “I’m All Over It,” then side-tracked to the lovely “Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down.” If you’d asked me two weeks ago, I might have told you my favorite track was “Mixtape,” but at this present time, it’s actually Jamie’s beautiful cover of “Not While I’m Around,” from Sweeney Todd. Which is not to say that the other tracks on the album are bad, and nor does it mean I’ve tired of the ones I no longer deem my favorite. It’s just that The Pursuit is such an enjoyable album that I’ll just get stuck on one song or another, and for a time, it’s all I’ll want to listen to.

When I first learned last summer that Jamie was coming back in November with a new album after a five-year absence, I was excited. So when I learned the album was only being released then in Europe, I was so frustrated that I ended up downloading it illegally. But it was so worth it, and now that the album is finally hitting U.S. stores today, I’m looking forward to buying it for real — the deluxe edition, of course, which comes with an additional four tracks and a bonus DVD.

I’ve been a Jamie Cullum fan since 2004, when I first read about him in Entertainment Weekly and ran out to buy his U.S. debut, Twentysomething. Since then, I’ve also seen the now-30-year-old British singer live a handful of times (never missing a show when he came to Boston), and I’ve tried to turn as many people as I can on to his music.

If you still haven’t heard Jamie’s music, then you’re going to have to take my word for it and go pick up The Pursuit. A collection of eight originals and four cover songs that includes the above songs, plus Jamie’s stripped-down, frisky take on Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” and his big big-band version of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things,” The Pursuit includes jazz, ambient, rock, pop, and swing influences, and it shows significant growth from Twentysomething (and his 2005 release, Catching Tales), when Jamie was dismissed by critics as “Sinatra in Sneakers.” It’s a mature, confident album that should win Jamie a ton more fans here in the States, people who might be resistant to jazz but could be taken in by his more edgy, house-driven sound. I can’t really recommend this one highly enough.

Of course, if there’s one thing I like more than Jamie Cullum’s albums, it’s his live shows. Jamie hits the House of Blues this Saturday, and I’ll be there. Can’t wait. Till then, I’ll keep listening to The Pursuit, and who knows … by Saturday I may even have a different favorite song.

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One Response to “Not Over Him Yet”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It Was Great Fun « Martin's Musings - April 22, 2012

    […] Down,” or his cover of “Not While I’m Around,” all from The Pursuit (which I love, by the […]

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