Album: Katie Melua, The House (Dramatico)

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The Independent Culture

There's a struggle between the weird and the dependable at the heart of Katie Melua's fourth album. On the one hand, there are the reliable consiglieres - producer William Orbit, co-songwriter Guy Chambers, manager/string arranger Mike Batt - keeping things balanced.

On the other, hints of a repressed oddity bubble beneath the surface, breaking through in the sci-fi escapism of "A Happy Place" and "Tiny Alien", and the apocalyptic vision of "The Flood", which reflects Melua's desire for change: "Broken people get recycled," she exults dubiously, "and I hope that I will". Ironically, the derangement suggested by titles such as "I'd Love To Kill You" and "A Moment Of Madness" is less scary: the former deals with the desire to monopolise another's affection, while the latter is a cabaret chanson à la Kurt Weill.

Download this: I'd Love To Kill You; The Flood; A Moment Of Madness

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