Review: Lifejacket

The Times

John Bungey, 12th April 2008

The singer's last album was a tribute to Joni Mitchell and the spirit of Joni in her jazzy phase seems to linger here in these sophisticated story-songs penned by Shaw - the vivid imagery, the imaginative small-group arrangements, the purring electric bass. There is a charming tribute to his father, A Good and Simple Man; Forty-Two is an engaging duet with Lianne Carroll; Glue is all hip wordplay and bass clarinet. Drawbacks? Shaw's emotive vocal style can sound overwrought to me on lines such as: "Tales of hope fall down like bowling pins." Other fans of smart jazz-pop may well forgive him.