thu 30/05/2024

CD: Caro Emerald - The Shocking Miss Emerald | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Caro Emerald - The Shocking Miss Emerald

CD: Caro Emerald - The Shocking Miss Emerald

Swingin' Dutch jazz-pop chanteuse delights once again on her second outing

Caro Emerald oustares, out-sasses and out-sings tired Rat Pack stereotypes

Caro Emerald is the biggest act to arrive on the music scene in Holland for a very long time. Her debut album, 2010’s Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor, stayed at the top of the Dutch album charts for an astonishing run of over seven months, oulasting even Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Her stock is now rapidly rising in the UK, with Deleted Scenes… heading back into the album charts upon the release of her recent single, “Tangled Up”, which isn’t even on it.

It’s easy to see Emerald’s appeal, a sassy 32-year-old with admirable old school Hollywood curves and songs dipped in ballroom style but, unlike Michael Bublé and the multiple wannabe-Rat Packers out there, almost everything she does charms via her cheerful pizzazz and a smattering of modernity. The production speaks of electro-swing tents at summer festivals as much as Eartha Kitt, Della Reese et al, and the songs are all originals rather than straight rips from trad jazz's glory days.

It’s easy to see why “Tangled Up” was chosen as a lead single – its production is attuned to modern pop and the chorus is twee and obvious – but it’s far from the best thing here. Instead, Emerald’s voices sauces up a set of witty songs such as the self-explanatory “Coming Back as a Man” and the ode to dressmaking genius, “The Maestro”. Nods to Cole Porter’s storytelling school of song-writing abound but there's also plenty of room for instrumental flourishes, and space for dubby grooves such as “Black Valentine” to breathe behind the main song structure. Something of the Gotan Project’s classy hip hop tinted deconstruction of tango to be found alongside the expected retro-pop.

A regular fixture on Radio 2 and with the comfortable Jools Holland demographic, Emerald fits a suburban easy listening stereotype, but don’t be fooled. Her second album may be light but it's also feisty, original and greatly enjoyable.

Watch the video for "Tangled Up"

The production speaks of electro-swing tents at summer festivals as much as Eartha Kitt and Della Reese


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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