KT Tunstall – Drastic Fantastic
Virgin Records (9/18/07)
Folk / Rock / Pop
KT Tunstall has raised the bar of what you can expect from her now and in the future with Drastic Fantastic. She has had had successful commercial success with “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” and “Suddenly I See” from Eye to the Telescope, and with this new album she really opens up as a artist by taking chances with her folk-goddess voice. The name Drastic Fantastic is quite heroic, as KT was inspired by the film, Sin City and said that ‘Drastic Fantastic’ sounded like the name of her comic-book life. After listening to this album, one can see that she’s definitely established herself as a folk-rock super-hero goddess.
“Little Favours” starts of the album in a ‘putting my keys down on your table and love me’ casual fashion, that still is so genuine, lovable and undeniably sexy. “This little universe between our backs” is such a intoxicating line and “if Melissa Etheridge sang rock folk” it would be “Little Favours”. “If Only” reminds me of her previous successful singles and is really serving the KT folk-pop melody and hooks that keep it in your thoughts all day long. “White Bird” channels me back to “Black Horse and The Cherry Tree” with its poetic lyrics with smoldering folk/country storytelling. “Saving My Face” was written “about 50-year-old women trying to look like teenagers” and considering society’s obsession with image and fears of getting older, this was a good musical reply. “Funnyman” is one my favorite tracks, and I think really personifies KT’s continuing growth as a songwriter. This song must be a release with lyrics: “Funnyman, gotta plan for the something wonderful / Funnyman, listening to the world turning on itself / Tuning into a brand new universe” and truly is something wonderfully written and completely catchy.
“Hold On”, Drastic Fantastic‘s first single is a excellent choice to blow people out of the box with her KT-flavored folk-rock, and the single was inspired by Bob Marley’s “Judge Not”. If she was ever worried she wasn’t going to do it right, because the world should be turned on to KT even more after this song and this whole album. I’d love to hear “I Don’t Want You Now” live and I rarely hear songs like this, that I know will be a classic favorite for dedicated fans of a artist, the kind of song that audiences can sing along with with such fierce identifying too, this one will be her’s.
A intimate musical risk with “Beauty of Uncertainty” that came out of nowhere with a jazz/blues styling that tells it like it is with a relationship coming apart: “But there is no sense in travelling if we’ve already been that way”. She continues to test her voice in stylings I’m not used to associating her voice with, including in “Someday Soon”, a gentle jazz and extremely lyrically flowing song that doesn’t make me doubt at all that she knows what she’s doing. KT makes me believe that she can really do just about anything with her musical talent and in this record, her talent is more than one successful commercial success. KT has proven with Drastic Fantastic that she is just as good as Norah Jones, Reba McEntire and Michelle Branch when she experiments with her sound. If you had any doubts that KT Tunstall was manufactured by the pop gods, there’s substance, empowering growth and undeniable strength in this release that should take away any doubts that this is a true folk rock artist.