Warner Music - 2003 - 49 minutes

David Kitt's 2001 album purported to be 'The Big Romance' but 'Square 1' eclipses that LP in the heart-on-sleeve, head-over-heels, unabashed celebration of love stakes. It also signals a move away from 'The Big Romance's over-polished preoccupation with electronica as Kitt travels a more soulful road here, complete with Curtis Mayfield's sound desk and Cajun swamp-pop group Lil' Band O' Gold.

Discovered while on honeymoon in New Orleans and brought into studio for an impromptu recording session, Lil' Band O' Gold give a certain southern swing to the countrified waltz of 'Faster & Faster'. It's an album highlight, together with the upbeat 'Me & My Love' which samples the joyous Gamble & Huff Philly soul classic '(You) Got What I Need' and former B-side 'Saturdays'.

Elsewhere, however, Kitt's use of strings and horns can't disguise lyrics of Hallmark card sentimentality and his repetitive use of imagery. An undeniably talented musician and performer, hopefully next time round Kitt can match the quality of the words to that of the music.

Caroline Hennessy

Tracklisting: Intro: I'm In Love With A Girl - Me & My Love - Tonic - Long Long Stares - The Black Box Waltz - Your Smiling Face - House With Trains - Faster & Faster - Dance With You - Me & My Love (Reprise) - Sweet Summer Morning - Saturdays - Hold Me Close