Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething (2004)


Pulled this one of the shelf and man-oh-man-oh-man I had forgotten how much I dig it. It's on the Verve label, but it's more popish than jazz.  Allmusic describes the sound as "a hip amalgamation of Harry Connick, Jr. and Randy Newman" and since I can't come up with a better description, let's go with that.  At times, Cullum sounds like a good-natured lounge pianist and other times he comes across as a deft interpreter of other people's songs.  The wide range of covers here includes songs by Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead, Pharrell, Jeff Buckley and standards from Lerner & Lowe and Cole Porter.  Cullum is able to take this diverse group, mix in his own stuff, and make a coherent album.  Cullum doesn't have a great voice, he's an adequate piano player, but he's a fantastic, entertaining musician (if that makes any sense).

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #83

Tracks:  My favorite track is the Cullum original All At Sea.  I also enjoy These Are The Days, written by Cullum's older brother Ben.  Of the covers, I like Wind Cries Mary, Singing In The Rain, High And Dry, and Frontin'.  I usually skip But For Now and the unremarkable take on Blame It On My Youth.  I don't often say this, but this album is a tad too long (15 tracks, 63 minutes).  At about 12 tracks, it would have been perfect.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I picked this up as an impulse buy at the local Wal-Mart and kept it in my car for those long trips to grad school classes.  At the time, I was thirtysomething, not twentysomething, but there was something unnerving about hearing the following lyrics when I was a grad student:
After years of expensive education
A car full of books and anticipation
I'm an expert on Shakespeare and that's a hell of a lot
But the world don't need scholars as much as I thought
Yikes.

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