Dramatico Records - 2003 - 40 minutes

There is an inner turbulence and self-revelation about Katie Melua that is instantly appealing to her audience. If it's blues, jazz or soul music you're into, this album has it all, showcasing the talent of a future star to full effect.

Although born in Russia, Katie Melua has lived in Belfast and London, evidently drawing inspiration from the turmoil that she lived through. Combined with the power of her deep sultry voice, her songs instantly transport you to a dimly lit blues club, where you can picture Melua comfortably taking centre-stage.

The most memorable tracks are 'I Think It's Goin' To Rain Today' and her unusual version of the 'Mockingbird Song'. Melua displays a vocal musicality that could effortlessly stand alone. Dominating the brash orchestral accompaniment, she exudes a comfortable air of control over the melodies, while managing to maintain the calm tone that is inherent in such powerfully suggestive music. 'Tiger In The Night', a quirky blues ballad, is a perfect example of this.

Moving and evocative, Melua breathes spirit into her work, showing heart in her solid contribution to the world of music.

Linda McGee

Tracklisting: Call Off The Search - Crawling Up A Hill - The Closest Thing To Crazy - My Aphrodisiac Is You - Learnin' The Blues - Blame It On The Moon - Belfast - I Think It's Goin' To Rain Today - Mockingbird Song - Tiger In The Night - Faraway Voice - Lilac Wine