The KT Tunstall of Tiger Suit
is tougher, louder, and more electronically endowed than the KT Tunstall of its poppy predecessor, 2007's Drastic Fantastic
, and Eye to the Telescope
three years before that. The first single, "Fade like a Shadow," is emblematic of the denser, rowdier sonics that permeate much of the record. A dance-floor trifle that never lets up, it utilizes Tunstall's wall of guitars (and glockenspiel) not so much for melodic purposes as to fortify the muscle flexing of the rhythm makers on hand. The circa
'81 synth-pop ringer "Glamour Puss," with its cutesy whistling and handclappy beat, the arena-rocking "Madame Trudeaux," and the fuzzy, gritty opener "Uummannaq Song" (it's a town in Greenland) also crank up the decibels. What's lost in Tunstall's transition to rock goddess is the attention to detail that marked her previous songwriting. In her quest for catchy buzz lines, she's sacrificed clarity and craft. Although the occasional inspired lyrical hook pokes through, all too often the need to match the amped-up production leads to generic blah in the words department. And all that overkill obscures what might have been some of Tiger Suit
's better moments. At least the arrangements are pro, and the less cluttered, least slick tracks are treasures. "(Still a) Weirdo" establishes a perfect balance between acoustic atmospherics and seductive electronic accent; "Lost" is orchestral grandeur personified.