New release: KT Tunstall “Wax”

Sometimes the middle of the road is no bad place to be… CD review by Joe Muggs

It’s a little hard to compliment KT Tunstall without seeming a little snitty. Her music is familiar, it’s grown-up, it’s Radio 2, it’s full of lashings of Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, The Pretenders, Springsteen, Nashville, Laurel Canyon. The closest this album really comes to modernity of sound is a little dose of Goldfrapp’s glam-pop-synth-rock in the odd track like “Human Being”, and even that of course is heavily indebted to the 1980s and a very classicist songwriting style. Her voice sounds older than her years, husky and lived-in, and always has done; lyrically she can touch on bitterness, loss and sorrow and somehow feel comforting. All the best qualities of her music – the qualities that earn her Ivor Novello awards and Grammys – are also the most middle of the road [ . . . ]

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