Nettwerk/Parlophone - 2003 - 43 minutes

If Erin McKeown ever decided to offer her creations up to the TV ad market, she'd give Moby's mint-making prowess with 'Thirteen' a run for his, sorry, money. McKeown's one of those people who makes record store staff think they're losing their touch because they're never quite sure just where she should be filed. And that's the joy of 'Grand' and sometimes its disappointment.

Taking genre-hopping to Olympic sport status, the 25-year-old spins all the way back to a Judy Garland cover ('Lucky Day') and then goes all the way up to backpack beats on 'James!'. You just wish she'd stay in some places a little longer - especially when the feelgood of 'Hum' or the beautiful melody and hard lyrics of 'Civilians' leave her love of swing and piano numbers trailing.

An album that needs some patience but as the sound of an artist in progress, it's worth any amount of rack searching to find.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Slung-Lo - Cinematic - The Taste of You - Born to Hum - Civilians - Envelopes of Glassine - How to Be a Lady - A Better Wife - Cosmopolitans - Lucky Day - An Innocent Fiction - James! - Starlit - Vera