-From The Morton Report, Bill Bentley
The present is a beautiful place. Ask Tanita Tikaram. When still a teenager she had a huge hit single, "Twist in My Sobriety" and a debut album that sold over five million copies. That was in 1988. The world beckoned, and the young woman became a major star. But time went by, the albums sold less and one day it was hard to learn what Tikaram was doing. Well, good for music lovers everywhere, she was continuing to sing and, now, has made a beautifully touching recording that makes good on all the singer's early promise.
One key to songs like "All Things to You," "Dust on My Shoes" and "If the World Should Want for Love" is how Tanita Tikaram has found her center. Working with producer Paul Bryan and a simpatico room full of great musicians, this music could almost have been recorded 50 years ago in the heyday of Los Angeles studio sessions. There is no pretense or overextension of ideas, but rather a desire to serve the songs completely and go immediately to the heart of the matter. The natural spirit everyone is shooting for comes across loud and clear. Tikaram has defined a vision where she wants to go, and enlisted those who can help her find the way there.
On two songs, Grant Lee Phillips sings with Tanita Tikaram and it feels like they've been working together forever. Rarely do duet partners fit so seamlessly, but in this case it's an international blend of soulful ease. There is also a bonus CD of songs from Tikaram's past done with mostly just guitar and piano. They are gorgeous and somewhat haunting, a peek inside how she must feel about the past 25 years after she conquered the music charts on her first attempt. Staying a survivor takes strength and courage no matter what you do, and to hear someone soar as well is discovering that inner strength is always the guiding light for the future.