Review: KT Tunstall Moved to L.A. and Made a Power-Pop Gem With ‘Kin’
KT Tunstall broke through in 2004 with the infectious, foot-stomping "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," a Scottish girl doing the whole onstage loop-pedal thing back when Ed Sheeran was still a wee lad. But after a Grammy nomination and a follow-up hit with "Suddenly I See" (Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign theme, no less), it's mostly been diminishing returns since then. Kin is Tunstall's first album since moving to L.A. and diving into an intensive study of film scoring; she apparently learned a few lessons, because at its best, the album is a power-pop gem. Though it gets a bit relentlessly upbeat (in tempo and message), Kin clicks when Tunstall's vocals dig deep on tracks like "Evil Eye" and "Run On Home," and when she and James Bay strike a sexy, slow-rolling groove on "Two Way," it makes an awfully good case for going back to Cali.