Review: KT Tunstall, ‘Tiger Suit’

Review: KT Tunstall, ‘Tiger Suit’: Aidin Vaziri | The runaway success of KT Tunstall’s first album, 2004’s “Eye to the Telescope,” transformed her from a spunky Scottish folkie to jingle writer extraordinaire thanks to inescapable hits like “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See.” But self-doubt set in after its follow-up, 2007’s “Drastic Fantastic,” failed to repeat the trick, so the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter took a few years off to redraft the blueprint. The changes are immediately apparent on the raucous “Uummannaq Song,” the opening track from her third album, “Tiger Suit.” Recorded in Berlin’s Hansa Studios, the album is dominated by electronic effects, clanging percussion and brittle verses – all of which conspire to make Tunstall’s soft-focus rasp strain to be heard. The whole thing sounds like a bit of an overreaction, really, with the 35-year-old singer so desperate to move on that she neglects to hang onto the things that made her worth embracing in the first place. From the processed strings and hollow putdowns of “Glamour Puss” to the dreary industrial blues of “Madame Trudeau,” she doesn’t sound inspired but bitter. It’s hard to imagine any of these songs playing over the opening credits of next year’s big chick flick.

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