Review of Christina Courtin's self-titled album released through Nonsuch.
US singer/songwriter Christina Courtin has caused quite a stir in her homeland and now releases this self-titled debut in the UK on 23rd June. Her style is a mellow mix of acoustic jazz-pop and country. She is joined by jazz bassist Greg Cohen and guitarist Ryan Scott, who not only contribute musically but also co-produce the album.
Green Jay, the opening track sums up the album; toy piano, viola and otherworldly vocals. Bundah follows suit but is the most lightly produced, stripped down track on the album. Courtin's soft vocals, simple guitar and a few strings, again it suits her sound well. 'Foreign Country ups the tempo with a swinging country vibe and Courtin steps up to the mark vocally. It's a real stand out track and it's a shame the rest of the album doesn't have the same impact. But immediately following it comes Hedonistic Paradise, another low-fi melancholic number complete with rhyming lyrics - 'It's a Hedonistic Paradise/It's so very clean and very nice' and sees Courtin return to her Norah Jones style. From the tinkling toy piano that opens the album to the lap steel and various strings, this record is stuffed full of clever arrangements and shows Courtin's obvious talent as a composer. Rainy highlights this perfectly with the layered strings creating a trippy orchestral sound that is quite stunning.
Comparisons have been made with KT Tunstall and on occasion there is a bit of a Norah Jones sound to her vocals but there does seem to be something missing; a little spark, a bit of passion maybe? And although ethereal, Courtin's vocals can be a little repetitive, but if mellow acoustic-blues is your thing, you might want to give this one a go. It has some really beautiful musical arrangements and Courtin's vocals do suit the overall feel of the album.