A purveyor and survivor of Britpop (with band Squeeze), solo artist, author, and television presenter, Jools Holland is prominent as one of British music's most recognized and trustworthy.
A couple of years back, Holland's talent for composition was refreshed with 2012's The Golden Age Of Song, a star-studded effort. Holland must have had the itch to repeat that highly successful and pleasant experience, only this time around he's kept it between him and the ladies. What emerges is 14 tracks of originals and reworked gems starring some of the best female voices in the business.
What Holland nails here are his choices of leading ladies for each track, which offer so much in the way of delightfully surprising and sublime covers. Jamaican songstress Ruby Turner sasses up Ray Charles' Jumpin' In The Morning, our own pop princess Kylie Minogue puts her pout to The Clash's Should I Stay Or Should I Go, and Emeli SandÉ admirably takes on 1920s standard Love Me Or Leave Me. Among the standouts, though, are Louise Marshall's A Vow, a poem by one of Holland's favourite English poets, Wendy Cope; Joss Stone's soulful attack in Letting Me Down; and the playful ska in Monkey Man, brought to life by the late, great Amy Winehouse.
Holland's orchestra never falters, nor do the man's fingers on the ivories, and running throughout is a vibrant sense of celebration for not only these skilfull lasses but for the sheer act of making music with many different talents.
-Carley Hall (The Music)
1. Jumping In the Morning - By Jools Holland & Ruby Turner
2. Letting Me Down - By Jools Holland & Joss Stone
3. Love Me Or Leave Me - By Jools Holland & Emeli SandÉ
4. A Vow - By Jools Holland & Louise Marshall
5. Monkey Man - By Jools Holland & Amy Winehouse
6. Should I Stay Or should I Go - By Jools Holland & Kylie Minogue
7. Sweet Bitter Love - By Jools Holland & Mabel Ray
8. See-Line Woman - By Jools Holland & Laura Mvula
9. Lost Mind - By Jools Holland & Rumer
10. Top To Bottom Boogie - By Jools Holland & Imelda May
11. Night & Day - By Jools Holland & KT Tunstall
12. I Wish - By Jools Holland & Melanie C
13. I Still Went Wrong - By Jools Holland & Ruby Turner
14. Ain't Misbehavin' - By Jools Holland & Eartha Kitt