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Catching Tales by Jamie Cullum

After making waves with his 2005 release Catching Tales, Jamie Cullum found himself on the covers of a lot of magazines around the world, including "Jazztimes." Track 7, which is a cover version of Doves "Catch the Sun," is what could possibly hold this album together. Being touted as a cross between Harry Connick Jr. and Elton John with a pinch of Norah Jones, Cullum relies much on coverable material and not enough of his own. The reliance on some DJ-style songs and scratches and effects take away from the possibility of this being not just a good album, but a great album. Not to say that this album is all bad, "London Skies," written by Cullum, is a beautiful song nonetheless.

"Photograph" is placed in an excellent position as track three and leads perfectly out of "London Skies." This is a good-to-excellent ballad worthy of how we are getting to know Cullum as the British vocalist/pianist that he is. A rework of Harry Warren’s "I Only Have Eyes For You" from the 1930s without the big-band flair and sounding like an electronica B-side outtake fails.

Catching Tales is a good album. There are some bright spots, including "Nothing I Do," which has some swing and some tempo, and album opener "Get Your Way" with Dan the Automator. Catching Tales is an expansion of the previous two albums and Cullum remains steady in his progression as a pianist/vocalist. However, could Cullum have gone maybe a half step too far?

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jamie Cullum
  • CD Title: Catching Tales
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Verve
  • Rating: Three Stars
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