Rating: 8/10
Best Tracks: Coming Home; It Starts; When Did I become Such A Bitch?

Nerina Pallot is a sublime singer, songwriter, and pianist, and this, in my opinion, is her best work to date.

She has a gorgeous voice, but, unlike some of her contemporaries, doesn’t feel the need to show it off every few seconds with vocal acrobatics (I’m talking about you, Beyonce, Christina, and Mariah). Instead of using the songs merely as a vehicle for her vocal, Pallot lets the songs do the talking, and her voice sits beautifully in the mix. When she does move up the register into faultless, sparkling soprano, therefore, it really has an impact, and adds real depth and character to the songs.

The melodies are catchy, and although more instrumentation is used compared to her previous album, Fires, the arrangements are well-constructed and never over-bearing. Pallot never tries to be too clever with her lyrics (as she says herself in Coming Home: ‘I wasn’t built for too much philosophising’), and this works to her advantage, as her words simply reflect real life without ever being preachy or pompous. The one occasion she strays from reality, and indeed from her heritage, I feel, is when she mentions ‘A Quart of Whiskey’ on the song ‘Cigarette’ (come on Nerina; you’re not American! We don’t say ‘Quart’ over here!) But maybe I’m just being too fussy…