fri 17/08/2018

CD: Hailey Tuck - Junk | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Hailey Tuck - Junk

CD: Hailey Tuck - Junk

Jazz-pop newbie proves easy going but likeable

Vintage all the way

Take a first, passing glance at the debut album from Hailey Tuck and she could be mistaken for Katy Perry, done up in florid new image finery. The Texas-born, Paris-living 27 year old, however, on further inspection (and, more to the point, on listening), is nothing like that pop superstar. The only thing they may have in common is ambition, for Junk is weighted with Sony money, recorded at LA's Sunset Sound Studios with top jazz session men and a sense of high expectation. It’s a major label punt but, happily, a likeable one.

The man at the studio controls is jazz super-producer Larry Klein. He discovered Tuck and developed her talent. He’s worked with everyone from Herbie Hancock to his ex-wife Joni Mitchell but, more pertinently, is partly behind the success of Gallic-flavoured American singers Melody Gardot and Madeline Peyroux in whose shoes, to some degree, Tuck walks, especially on her versions of The Kinks “Alcohol” and the accordion-laced take on the 1970 Paul McCartney ditty that gives the album its name.

The default musical position is Tuck’s very sweet voice over well-chosen, ultra-laid back cover versions that are all brushed drums and empty-piano-bar-at-3.00 AM shuffle. She has a purity of tone that’s coy but just this side of saccharine or cutesy. She’s aided by the lyrics to the songs, notably a minimal reimagining of Joni Mitchell’s “Cactus Tree” and a smart reinvention of Pulp’s “Underwear”. Her one co-write, “Last in Line”, a sedate but astute number, hints at good things in her own future songwriting.

Proper jazzin’ rears its head occasionally, as on the welcome percussive close to “My Chemical Life” or the sax solo on “Some Other Time” but Junk is really a very chilled crossover pop album. It’s one for the middle class dinner party set but to say so is to slight it for Hailey Tuck’s music also emanates an understated wit and class.

Watch the video for "Alcohol" by Hailey Tuck
The default musical position is Tuck’s very sweet voice over well-chosen, ultra-laid back cover versions

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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