Title - 'Can't Go Back' (Eagle Rock)
Artist - Tanita Tikaram
The voice that defined a generation is returning with her first album in seven years. Tanita Tikaram's new album Can't Go Back features some of America's most exciting modern soul musicians, and was lovingly crafted by producer Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Grant Lee Phillips, Nina Nastasia) at Sound Factory in Los Angeles.
Tikaram was inspired by her new found love of Americana, by the union of country and soul by Motown and Chess, and by singers such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Dusty Springfield, Don Williams, Paul Simon and the long-lost Marie Knight.
The first disc starts off with the vibrant 'All Things To You,' an upbeat track, accompanied by American folk singer/songwriter Grant Lee Phillips it has you thinking you might be in for a more melodic Tikram musical outing this time. But, you would be woefully (for the most part) wrong! Next up is 'Dust On My Shoes,' a track that drops the vibrant pace considerably, before 'Make The Day' does much the same again
'Rock & Roll' follows thereafter, but it's weird as I could swear this sedate song could burst into a full-on rock song at any juncture. And yet, it never quite does! The fresh-bounce storytelling of 'Science' is next, with the harder piano of 'Keep It Real' along next. Funnily enough, the way it begins it sounds like a Carly Simon track is about to unveil itself! It also turns out that together with vocals from Grant Lee Phillips again, the song is one of the new albums stand-out tracks.
The dusky warning of the title track 'Can't Go Back' is next, with 'Heavy Pressure' coming to the fore thereafter. A piano-fused song, it quickly turns a little funky before Tikaram takes to the vocals to even it all out once again. Phillips makes his final appearance on the album on the fluid gentle bounce of 'One Kiss,' before the final track on the first disc, 'If The World Should Want For Love.'
The haunting piano ballad of 'My Love' is the first track on the 8-track acoustic second CD of classic Tikram songs, with the guitar-picked 'Valentine Heart,' the gentle acoustic of 'Wonderful Shadow,' and then the beautful guitar work of 'Only The Ones We Love' helps it flows along and into our heads thereafter.
Tikaram's biggest hit (quite literally right out the gate at the time) 'Twist In My Sobriety' follows next. It is so good to hear the song again, acoustic nonetheless, and still makes you realise that her voice is as perfect as ever. The flowing 'To Drink The Rainbow' is followed by the doleful cut 'Play Me Again,' before the last of the acoustic songs, the soul-searching ("All my life I'll be running from the things that I've never done") piano-led 'Love Is Just A Word.'