“All At Sea” by Jamie Cullum (2004)

Following Norah Jones’ success, labels jumped at the chance to find folks with jazz and pop chops. So while Jamie Cullum was marketed to American audiences as the next Norah Jones, comparing the two does a disservice to both. Comparing Jamie to anyone is difficult. The names Ben Folds, Jason Mraz and Amy Winehouse have passed through my head in the time it took to write this short blurb, and all those names fit—except they don’t fit.

Jamie’s debut album, Twentysomething, was a mixture of catchy originals, standards, and surprising covers (like Pharrell’s “Frontin’”). “All At Sea” is an original composition, melodic and contemplative.

NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…

“All Around The World” by Jay Z feat. Letoiya Williams (2002): It’s a world tour/starring Jigga Man. Soulful vocals, a celebratory lift, a little bit of “Sadie” by The Spinners and you get a standout track from the way-too-bloated Blueprint 2. And it’s not on YouTube or Spotify. Bleh.

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