Eliza Sophie Caird, better known as Eliza Doolittle, has been working the scene for a while, her brilliantly fun ‘Skinny Genes’ was a minor hit and built up a decent head of steam for the album’s release – so obviously timed to really benefit from the heat of summer. It’s an album that wouldn’t work quite as well at any other time of the year; so frothy and ‘nice’, it wouldn’t suit the grey of autumn or the cold of winter but coupled with a glass of Pimms and the smell of a barbeque, this is the sort of sound that you’d want in the background.
The album starts with an energy that would be hard to maintain with ‘Moneybox’, but while there is tail off in the latter half it’s well managed with a liberal sprinkling of the odd gem such as current single ‘Pack Up’. There are also countless musical influences from the fifties onwards and while the obvious initial comparisons to the likes of Kate Nash or Lily Allen are true to a point, they only take you through the first track and from then on in Ms Doolittle crafts a wonderfully eclectic mix of styles and genres – the aforementioned ‘Pack Up’ being the perfect example as not only does it inject a sudden excitement to the album, it also melds a modern ‘Landaan’ sound with George Henry Powell’s marching song ‘Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag’ to startling but very pleasing effect. Just as you feel you have got a handle on things, she throws a curve ball forcing you to re-evaluate everything you’ve heard so far. Seemingly simple melodies give way to complex layers of vocals and while almost everything has a strong marching beat every single track is lifted to summery highs by the singer’s wide and powerful voice.
With Lily Allen threatening her retirement from music, we needn’t worry. Eliza Doolittle is more than capable of filling Ms Allen’s boots with none of the oh-so-controversial stylings. It’s refreshing to have something that has that timelessly enjoyable bounce without the feeling of rage that is so obviously bubbling under the surface. It doesn’t have so much a bite, more like a playful nibble – need music always have some important message?