Eliza Newman - Pie in the Sky
Does this have a name? Perhaps not. Let us dub it Notting Hill pop. Tracks like Eliza Doolittle's 'Rollerblades' that may once have been labelled a teensy bit quirky but still radio-friendly enough. Presenting Eliza Newman, a London-based teacher originally hailing from Iceland, often to be found in the company of her ukulele. Already you have a picture in your head. Keep it there, because while your instinct may be that we already have enough of this stuff (and certainly enough for it to not particularly crossover beyond the radio) Ms Newman's second solo album is worthy of investigation. That ukulele is the first thing you hear on Pie in the Sky, but it prefixes some real dynamics and the Madness-like melancholy of 'Hopeless Case' ("I'm the lost cause / All potential wasted") betrays the time she spent learning her craft with Bjork associates Bellatrix. Consistency remains high throughout, with the geek-baiting bounce of 'Star Wars Bar' and the staccato jabs of 'I Wonder' particularly standing out. And remember when albums used to end with a proper bang? 'Meet You There' delivers. Significantly ahead of whoever the current flavour of the month is.