It’s been four years since his last album, “Interlude”. That was an album of all covers; this one all originals (except for one song on the deluxe edition I was lucky to pick up)! He’s such an interesting musician. He’s always had solid original songs but the arrangements for his covers have been incredible. I think the covers is more of what drew me to him. (He and Michael Bublé are kind of contemporaries in the remaking standards but Cullum plays the piano and has composed way more original songs than Bublé. I also found them around the same time)
Cullum is considered a British jazz musician and I’m not going to dispute that. What was interesting about this album is that he leaned more in R&B for a few songs. This doesn’t surprise me because he’s previously been drawn to contemporary R&B and reimagining them (“Frontin'” on “twentysomething” and his “Don’t Stop the Music” cover on “The Pursuit” is brilliant).
The lyrics this time around were extremely mature. It’s really something. Like he went through something pretty serious. All I can say is that I probably could have used songs like “Life is Grey”, “Monster”, “Endings Are Beginnings”, and “The Age of Anxiety” when I lost my job last summer. Absolutely perfect for melancholy! Still, I’m very happy to have this album now even if I’m trying to break into more positive moods.
Which is wonderful for the fact that his cover of The Killers’ “The Man” made the deluxe edition. What I wouldn’t give for him and Brandon Flowers to perform the song together with Cullum’s arrangement. He somehow injects the song with even more life and that is impressive.
2019 is shaping up to be a year where all of my favorite artists are releasing new albums. None of them have let me down yet.