- 06 Jul 10
Near-perfect little pop confection from Camden
Never mind the Pygmalion handle and the Camden address. Sure, this 22-year-old former child actress might be pitched in the same postal code as Lily or Kate (albeit with a dash of Dap Kings retro chic), but her debut album betrays a subtle touch and musical suss way deeper than that. Eliza Doolittle does pop, full stop, but in the broadest sense, meaning Stevie Wonder, The Kinks and The Beach Boys as much as Beyoncé. A little bit Motown, a little bit singer-songwritery, the precocious Ms D exhibits serious quality control in the melody department, but the real skill is in the phrasing. Capable of a sweet soul warble, she always keeps the lid on, and her delivery suggests a world-weariness way beyond her years. You might know the singles 'Skinny Genes' or 'Money Box' or 'Pack Up' from the tube, but tunes like 'Rollerblades' and 'Mr Medicine' are deft and detailed, stitched with whistling bits, toy drum sets and tinkly pianos. We wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the young lady has more than a few Joni Mitchell, Minnie Ripperton or Smokey Robinson records in her collection. Old tonsils in a young throat. Eliza Doolittle is a near-perfect little modern pop artifact.