Categories :

Albums

CD$12.99

Pop - Released September 12, 1988 | Rhino

Singer/songwriter Tanita Tikaram's debut album, Ancient Heart, stands as one of the most underappreciated albums of the 1980s, and she, along with Tracy Chapman, preceded the 1990s' onslaught of female singer/songwriters by almost a decade. Tikaram, who was only 19 when this album was released, created a melancholy and wistful work, mature beyond her years, of startling originality and honesty. While this album may be considered folkish and artsy, it never stoops to the clichés that dominated those styles of music in the later Lilith Fair years. Her near perfect signature song "Twist in My Sobriety" is a stark, sinuous, desperate torch song that managed to garner a bit of radio and video airplay in its day and sounded like nothing else then or since. Other highlights include the lovely and more upbeat "Cathedral Song," "World Outside Your Window," and "Good Tradition"," as well as the jazzy "For All the Years" and the haunting "I Love You" and "Valentine Heart" -- the latter being one of the album's true highlights. Ancient Heart is a smoky, world-weary album, that, years after its initial release, does not sound one bit dated and has effortlessly stood the test of time. The definite highlight of Tanita Tikaram's career. ~ Jose F. Promis
CD$12.99

Pop - Released February 23, 2009 | Rhino

Tanita Tikaram's debut, Ancient Heart, was a surprise worldwide smash. For her follow-up, the British singer brings much of the same cast back, including Rod Argent and Peter Van Hooke who again co-produce. The result is much the same as the first go round. Musically, The Sweet Keeper is fairly unadventurous -- melodic, jazz-inflected adult pop with touches of folk. The only real moments that resonate are the tracks on which Sonny Landreth adds guitar. Lyrically, Tikaram is somewhat impenetrable, often going in circles that are so personal they leave the listener baffled. However, it's hard to resist that voice, husky and sounding more world-wise than her years. If it weren't for her voice, The Sweet Keeper would be easy to disregard. As things are, it's worth a listen, especially the Tikaram's hushed delivery on "It All Came Back Today." ~ Tom Demalon
CD$12.99

Pop - Released September 12, 1988 | Rhino

Much of Tanita Tikaram's songwriting is actually about generating mood rather than dealing with lyrics that have a conclusive structure to them. While she's proven able to write complete lyrics in the past, she more often produces lyrics that are almost broken down, focusing on a mood, an image or an idea rather than developing that into a story. Musically, it's another matter, and this is where she excels. She has a knack for great musical hooks and for engaging arrangements that pull you into the music, balancing that music off against her deep, dark voice. What makes this even more intriguing is that her voice is very much the rusty folk singer type of voice -- there are times when she reaches for a note and misses, and even that never stops her. But she makes it work -- her songs are structured around her vocal characteristics, and she uses her voice to good effect with her songs. Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (which has twelve songs, indicating one isn't about loneliness) is uniformly listenable, especially if you allow the music as a whole sweep over you. Tikaram is a born cynic whose penchant is for examining elements of life and love from that cynical viewpoint; still, there's a sense of joy, if only in the music, that comes through, balancing the edge. Her talents still need some fine-tuning, but she's on her way to being a consistently solid presence in the singer/songwriter arena. ~ Steven McDonald
CD$12.99

Pop - Released September 12, 1988 | Rhino

Easily Tikaram's most polished album to date. As usual, several of the songs sound like rough drafts, but for the first time since the raw poetry of her debut, Ancient Heart, Tikaram has come up with enough knockout numbers to justify the record's release. "I Might Be Crying" features an inventive arrangement in which a full string and brass orchestra merely underscores a sweeping landscape of vocal harmonies. "Yodelling Song" is a fresh, manic jam with acoustic guitars, fiddles, bongos and yodellers. Tikaram's eccentric folk-pop has always been creatively produced, but for this record the husky-voiced songwriter has penned some melodies well worth the studio time. ~ Darryl Cater