Monday, 23 January 2012

Katie Melua - Better Than A Dream

When Katie Melua released her mind-blowing William Orbit collaboration The Flood back in 2010, the prospect of an album eschewing the gentle days of her past for a riotous forty minutes of explorative pop magic seemed all so real. But it never came to pass - The Flood was the exception rather than the rule.

With new single Better Than A Dream, Melua positions herself firmly back within the lulled, beautiful surroundings of acoustic balladry - like hushed ocean waves on a tropical island resort, the pillowed tenderness of the track is interwoven with Melua's knack for keen pop melodies and pretty lyricism: 'I dreamed in colour because I lived in black and white'.

A lullaby-like bossa nova for hazy, thought-filled nights, Better Than A Dream paints an alluring, fantastical portrait of almost tangible other-worlds on the cusp of sleep. And the ever-constant at the heart of the track, the soft sensuality of her vocals, comforting and assuring, delicate and richly textured.

Alongside album opener Gold In Them Hills, Better Than A Dream makes a reassuring opening salvo to Melua's new album, Secret Symphony. Sure, it might lack the unbridled potency of The Flood, but with Melua returned to her usual territory, it sees her more than holding her own.

Better Than A Dream is released on the 12th March, preceded by the album Secret Symphony on the 5th.

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