As posted on In The Congo:
20 year old Melua’s debut, “Call Off The Search”, brings the listener back to a time of smoky blues clubs when Ella, Billie, Nina and Edith were queens. Her sultry blues voice backed by expert musicians unfortunately sounds better than it is.
While attending London’s B.R.I.T. School of Performing Arts she was tapped by producer Mike Batt to be the voice in front of his latest project. To call this album Melua’s is misleading. While she does play guitar on a couple of songs and even penned two of them, for most of the album she is just a session player. This is a shame because Melua has a great voice and her two songs are probably the best cuts on the album. Most of the songs are written by Batt and are lyrically substandard. This is made very clear on tracks like “My Aphrodisiac Is You”, “Mockingbird Song”, and “Tiger in the Night”, the latter of the three coming off as a rip off of Blake’s famous poem. Had it not been for the lyrics this album would have been much better.
The biggest crime is that Katie has been and will continue to be compared to Norah Jones. There is no comparison. Jones’s honky-tonk influence gives her a style all her own. Melua’s great blues voice is merely her singing in a style she has been trained in. A truly great blues voice comes from passion. Melua is clearly missing this. Jones has it nailed.
It is sad that Melua has to be a pretty face and good voice for a producer’s poorly written songs. She does show real promise on her own. If she can claim her own creative license then a follow up could be quite good. Unfortunately for now she is doomed to be forgotten quickly after brief air play on Adult Contemporary radio.