I’ve kept my eye on Jamie Cullum ever since his hard-to-find first album, Heard It All Before in 1999. Based in jazz, Cullum can hardly be called a jazz musician, though. His piano work touches all genres and is pretty much impossible to categorize.
That being said, it’s been five years since Cullum has released an album of new material. He’s kept himself in the public’s eye, appearing on soundtrack stuff for Meet the Robinson’s, Grace Is Gone and Gran Torino and appearing as a guest on other albums, otherwise nada.
His latest, The Pursuit (Verve), is unbalanced and undisciplined. The CD cover of an exploding piano probably best depicts this effort. It’s harsh but Cullum should throw this album in a bin, blow it up and start all over again from scratch.
All of Cullum’s assets as an artist actually come together to do him in here. This thing is everywhere, one time he’s trying to be this, then he’s trying to be that. I know this is very contradictory, on one hand I praise him for his being different, then in the same sentence blast him for being so different.
Stay with me here. The reason why is that the album lacks a common thread, something that ties everything all together. There is simply no continuity here.
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