Jamie Cullum’s The Pursuit has received mixed reviews, but many critics seem to have missed the point. Most have focused on Cullum’s unorthodox interpretations of standards. And frankly, they’re not quite my bag either, despite the use of Count Basie’s orchestra on one Frank Foster-arranged track.
Where this young British pop singer excels, however, is when he’s singing his own material. Songs like I’m All Over It, Wheels, Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down, Mixtape, Music Is Through and We Run Things have a fresh sound and reach back to the British pop invasion of the early 1980s. Cullum has a hip, knowing vocal style that sounds effortless. Sample the tracks I just mentioned and see what you think. He also plays a mean electric piano, as evidenced on We Run Things.