Station To Station/Low/Heroes/Stage
Nothing affects a pop star like growing old. Short of ideas, sick of touring and faced with plummeting sales, most are overcome by a desire to take up painting...
NOTHING AFFECTS A POP STAR LIKE growing old. Short of ideas, sick of touring and faced with plummeting sales, most are overcome by a desire to take up painting, get a haircut and go and find themselves.
Conveniently, though, this ensuing ‘inner fulfilment’ often makes the ideal basis on which to revive a flagging career and forget why fame was horrible in the first place. Which brings us, rather appropriately, to the new and allegedly improved Tanita Tikaram.
Her sixth album, ‘The Cappuccino Songs’, however, is hardly crammed with radical surprises. The dark, woeful voice still resembles a suicidal Suzanne Vega; the lavish orchestration is predictably precise and the subject matter remains crumbling relationships, breaking hearts and all that is doom and gloom in love. ‘Stop Listening’ is heavy with distress and the imminent threat of Tanita bursting into tears; ‘I Like This’ drags along like a manically depressed Carly Simon, and even Abba’s ‘The Day Before You Came’ becomes a spookily warped space-age funeral march. All this from a woman who’s been discovering the cheerier side of life.
Indeed, it’s only really on the bongo-laced, Paul Simon extravaganza that is ‘I Know You’ or the alarmingly poppy ‘If I Ever’ that Tanita’s claimed revamp can be glimpsed and she finally sounds at ease. But it comes too late: as an attempt to regain anyone’s affection or even incite new interest, ‘The Cappuccino Songs’ fails almost entirely. Maybe next time, Tanita should just try a pension plan.