KT Tunstall’s New Experiment: ‘Tiger Suit’

Scottish songbird KT Tunstall’s Tiger Suit is a fine example of her strengths as a songwriter, yet contrarily exemplifies old tactics that best be left behind. It’s a record torn: half progressive in style and production, while the remainder is the same, repetitive hand-clapping and woo-hooing.

At its most daring, Tiger employs experimental synths and mid-song breakdowns, as in the introspective ballad “Lost,” which brilliantly displays Tunstall’s heart-on-her-sleeve lyrics and courageous sincerity. Her voice truly shines here and throughout.

Lead single “Fade Like a Shadow” is also praiseworthy. The hook is light, fun to sing, and quite placement friendly. Along with “Push That Knot Away” and “Golden Frames,” Tunstall offers unique styles that vastly differ from one another, and that’s very commendable.

To the album’s detriment, Tunstall is still adding looped background vocals like they’re going out of style. And the handclaps we’ve heard album after album, and again on “Come On, Get In,” surely need to go. Lead-off “Uummannaq Song” is guilty of these same trespasses.

Tiger Suit is a step in the right direction for Tunstall. It’s experimental and progressive, but perhaps not enough so. Although this album does have its shining moments, I’d predict that her next will be even more appetizing.

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