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Review: A World Still Turning

The Guardian

John Fordham, 3rd September 2004

****

One of the contemporary scene's class acts on vocals, even if many others with less impressive skills make all the headlines. This American-produced album finds UK singer/pianist Shaw accompanying himself, and being supported by a fine acoustic group including pianist Billy Childs. The repertoire embraces Shaw's typically wide view of a classic song, with material by Bowie, Dylan, Elton John, Randy Newman and Radiohead. And if Shaw opts for a ballad-dominated mood here, his flexibility of pitch and imaginativeness of line create tension and anticipation in almost all of them. Shaw delivers a definitive version of Alone Again and an embracing account of Speak Low; he makes an eerie mystery in a sustained falsetto whisper out of Radiohead's The Tourist. But it's his soul-swinger duet on Soon As the Weather Breaks with an absolutely terrifying Mark Murphy that steals the show in a personal and affecting set.