Release Date: Apr 19, 2011
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock
It's a minor miracle that Eliza Doolittle, the 22-year-old Camdenista, has managed to make such a coherent and effortless-sounding debut album. Although she has co-written every song, she's done so alongside 11 other writers, with additional credits going to the Fleetwoods for the sample of their 1959 song Come Softly to Me, and to George and Felix Powell for lifting their chorus to Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag. The vintage of those steals indicates the musical tone: retro-modern, a collage of familiar summery styles – a little ska here, some Cuban rhythms there – simmered into something unmistakably of this age.
The youthful Eliza Doolittle doesn’t just have an old fashioned name, she performs old fashioned music. Or maybe it’s better to use the plural of old fashioned as in the British singer uses old fashioned language (such as moneyboxes instead of ATMs or cash registers), a variety of old fashioned styles (e.g., cha cha cha, ‘50s doo wop), and even incorporates old fashioned material (e.g. The Fleetwoods’ “Come Softly to Me”, the World War I marching tune, “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile”) into new compositions.
If you like your pop wacky, there’s a lovely album here waiting for you. Fraser McAlpine 2010 Let’s start with the voice. It’s a beautiful, expressive thing: high and clear, with the occasional emotive crack. The pretty melodies and tweeting harmonies (literally, in some cases) are rendered snoozily, as if Eliza’s vocals were recorded just after waking and stretching from a dream-filled sleep.