These days it’s rare to find a true musical triple threat: singer/ songwriter/ instrumentalist, especially one who is as exquisitely talented as KT Tunstall. Her debut, Eye to the Telescope, seamlessly mixes pop, rock, blues, and rhythmic clapping to create a truly unique, fun, catchy sound. The hooks are infectious, as particularly evidenced with “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” Every second of that song is catchy, from the “whoo-hoo” in the background to the stream of “no’s” in the chorus.
But don’t let this hypnotize you into putting the singles on repeat and skipping over the rest of the album. KT validates her place in the popular music world with “False Alarm” and “Universe & U” (although the better version of this song is found on KT Tunstall’s Acoustic Extravaganza), as well as the beautiful acoustic “Heal Over.” Her lyrics are honest and eloquent without crossing over to pretention, and they prove that this Scottish songstress has some depth.
There’s more to KT than just clever wordplay. She plays several of her own instruments, including guitar and bass. While her songs don’t feature long instrumental breaks and stunning guitar solos, the lack of showiness distinguishes her as someone who gets right down to business. She takes rhythm guitar and adds extra flavor, as is the case with “Heal Over.” The chords by themselves are beautiful, but KT’s style includes slides that transform them into something so much more than just background.
Bottom line, Eye to the Telescope stands out because it’s good and it’s addictive. Seriously, I dare you to listen to “Suddenly I See” without getting it stuck in your head.
By Valerie Williams