SPILT MILK (KRISTINA TRAIN)

THE STORY SO FAR:

2009 debut solo album from the singer/songwriter. Hearing Kristina Train for the first time is nothing less than a revelation: her sunny, easygoing demeanor and youthful good looks belie the heart-wrenching power of her voice. Train’s Blue Note debut, Spilt Milk, is urbane and soulful, lush in its arrangements but intimate in its emotions, built on a foundation of classic and deeply felt Southern Soul.

TRACK LIST

1. Spilt Milk
2. No Man’s Land
3. Don’t Remember
4. Don’t Beg for Love
5. It’s Over Now
6. You’re Still Going to Lose
7. Moon Rivers and Such
8. I Can’t But Help
9. Call in the Maker
10. Half Light
11. Far from the Country

THE CRITICISM:

With “Spilt Milk” Train benefits from the exceptional skills of London-based Jimmy Hogarth, whose recent production credits include Duffy, James Blunt, Beverley Knight and Corinne Bailey Rae. Hogarth makes a perfect team with Eg White, the powerhouse writer, arranger and musician best known for his long-term collaboration with Amy Winehouse and his Grammy nomination for Adele’s “Chasing Pavements.”

So as you’d expect, the arrangements on the album’s eleven tracks, many of them co-written by Train with Eg White and are created with world-wide audiences in mind. But since the album is a vehicle for Train’s vocal talents, the music never draws attention away from the main instrument that is Train’s luscious, emotive drawl. It’s Kristina Train’s voice that is showcased throughout. For that reason many of the songs have a similar, anthemic quality; verses are soft and powerful choruses rise on strings, or horns, or both at some points. But what is so delightfully surprising about “Spilt Milk” is how it presents Kristina Train’s musical identity. Few female jazz or blues singers ever achieve this degree of recognition.


I find Kristina’s release somewhat richer and more diverse and while the emphasis of her sound still lays in the establishment of Train’s pure classic vibrato, her songs often approach blues and soul music, what makes it all even more worthwhile. There’s no doubt that Spilt Milk contains that same success formula that makes these kind of tracks interesting for broad audiences.

THE BREAKDOWN

Final Score:  89% – B

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