KT Tunstall’s new album Tiger Suit came out this past week in the states and like a true fan, I downloaded it on iTunes.  And because of things going on this week, I’ve missed seeing her on Leno and then on the Today Show on NBC this a.m. Rats.

But to the album. I first connected with KT via the The Hotel Cafe Christmas album from a few years ago where she did a cover of Sleigh Ride. Her version has become one of my top Christmas favorites, and I’d be scared to see how many times it’s played in iTunes since Christmas of 2008. I also get SMS updates from her on Twitter, which over the past few months have given me an insight into what she’s been up to as she prepared for the release of this latest album.

TIGER SUIT

With the iTunes purchase comes a 52-minute “the making of” video. That helped to watch, too, as I delved further into the content of the album. Of course, I’ve been receiving her email updates over the past month or so, so I’d been able to see and hear some the new material before. But the album is out now, so what of it?

My fast favorite on the album isn’t one of the tracks for commercial appeal like Fade Like a Shadow or Still a Weirdo, though I must say, I like the latter more than the prior.

Oh, yeah, my favorite so far: DIFFICULTY.

I’ve always been a sucker for a good bass line and this distorted guitar riff with it’s repetition and then calculated rises in tone, followed by a repeat of the refrain have locked into my psyche and I will admit, offer me comfort much like how ants flock to the comfort of the vibrations in wires caused by electricity passing through them.

And in a dozen ways I can relate to these lyrics:

Isn’t much more I can do for you
Isn’t much more that I can try
Twisting myself into shapes
To stop you crying
What’ll I do if I lose you
What’ll I do if I lose
Difficulty is coming my way
Coming my way

Making my way into places
Only been seen on your darkest days
Breaking my heart to take a walk
Into your jungle
What can I do in this world for you
If difficulty is my friend
Keeping me company when I know
I don’t need it

The chorus is uplifting, almost a glimpse of the feeling it must be like to break free of the difficulty.

You change every day
You change every day
(What can I do to make you notice)
You change every day
You change every day
(A little more time to bring you home)
You change every day
You change every day
How can I tell you the truth?
When I don’t want to.

Possible days in my future
Possible ways into my past
Sewing it up nice and tightly
So I don’t wonder

What if I did so much more for you
And what if I’d said so much more
Difficulty would be a stranger
A stranger to me

The only thing I don’t like about the song is the bridge in the middle.  Then it gets away from me and I’m ready for the return to the comfort repetition.

I’ll write more about the rest of the album as I migrate my way through the new sounds.  But if Difficulty were on vinyl I’d already be hearing the sounds of wearing down the grooves.

I wish KT was going to be making a stop here in the Dallas area.  It would have been nice to take the kids to see her so we could all enjoy Other Side of the World, (still my favorite of all) Little Favours, Cherry Tree, Like the Weather, Suddenly I See, and her catalog of great songs.  

Would I buy this album again?  Yes.  And I recommend it to you, too.  Some of the songs aren’t going to be things that grab a hold of you on the first spin, but that’s sometimes the best, where lyrics and tunes slowly seep into your consciousness and then all of the sudden, you’re humming them or putting them on repeat in iTunes.

Difficulty? Watch for it next season on TV.  The Good Wife would be a great candidate for it on CBS, or maybe as the ending song on one of the CSI episodes where one of the female mainstays goes through a difficult upheaval in a relationship and feels like KT sounds in the song and then the song just stops on one of the final notes as the screen goes blank before the Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer black screen credit and stay tuned for the news pitch comes on.

It’s that kind of song.  David Zucker and Jerry Bruckheimer producers, I hope you’re reading.




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