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Call Off the Search Enhanced

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000255LB6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,714 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Call Off the Search
2. Crawling Up a Hill
3. Closest Thing to Crazy
4. My Aphrodisiac Is You
5. Learnin' the Blues
6. Blame It On the Moon
7. Belfast
8. I Think It's Going to Rain Today
9. Mockingbird Song
10. Tiger in the Night
11. Faraway Voice
12. Lilac Wine

Product Description


Call Off the Search was released in the U.K. in November of 2003 to deserved acclaim, alongside countless declarations that this 19-year old British music school-educated, Russian-born singer is "the next Norah." There are similarities--Melua does work within a jazz/blues idiom, is strikingly good looking, talented beyond her years, and concentrates more on classics than her own material (ten are covers and two originals). But she's far more of a classic show-biz type singer than the sultry and sophisticated-sounding Jones. On the single "The Closest Thing to Crazy," for instance, Melua's phrasing is pure show tune. But it works for her, as it did for Lena and Liza before. The only weak link resides in a few straight-ahead blues songs, notably the 12-bar stomp "My Aphrodisiac Is You." Melua has the talent, she just lacks the soul to put oomph into a song that namechecks the Kama Sutra (this is as it should be, of course, as she's a teenager, but the choice of material's suspect nonetheless). Melua is a great torch singer who deserves the spotlight; odds are you'll eagerly await her next album before you're even done listening to this all the way through. --Mike McGonigal

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 12 2004
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album on an impulse, and rarely take the time to submit a review - but this artist and album are worth the time and effort.
Katie's voice is not powerful, but carefully nuanced. Criticism that her style is not sufficiently soulful or strong rather miss the point - her style is more measured, controlled, and frankly, it's more mature. The difference is akin to the difference between Clapton's original Derek & the Dominoes recording and the later Unplugged version of "Layla" - both are brilliant, but the early version vents rage and frustration, where the later conveys regret, remorse, and perhaps more than a little resignation to the unrequited love. Both are perfectly valid responses, but I've reached the point where I am less likely to rage than to acknowledge that there are things I want but may never have. Melua, surprisingly for one so young, also reflects this maturity, and artfully conveys frustrations and desires, without shouting at the world.
Melua's "Crawling Up a Hill" is a revelation - Mayall's original was a full-on blues tune; this version is jazzy and subtle. "Blame It on the Moon" is wistful and pensive; "Mockingbird" and "My Aphrodisiac is You" are playful and teasing - again, that subtle touch.
Most of the arrangements on the album are beautifully done and superbly played. Unfortunately, the last two tracks are the weakest, and are all that holds this album from getting the 5-star treatment.
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Format: Audio CD
My first impression, when I heard Katie Melua was: "Oh, My God! Norah Jones all over again!" I admit I am not the biggest Norah Jones fan there is, but then... this beautiful 19-year old Russian born singer with a voice of gold proved me wrong.
Her approach to music certainly does not go hand-in-hand with her age: that is to say she's not part of the Britneys or the Christinas of the world. With her music and her charm, she's targeting an older audience (or should I say, "more mature"?) with a blend of jazz and blues, which inevitably reminds a lot of people (myself included) of Norah Jones. The big difference lies in Katie's voice, which powerfully resonates when she sings (along with playing guitar) through every single track in her album.
Overall, I like it: I see potential. Though I still am not playing it over and over, I will continue to keep an eye open and my ears attentive to future works by Katie Melua, as she appears as if she's going to be around for good, as an established voice among the best jazz and blues singers of the world.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the best new CD I've heard so far this year! I first saw Katie Melua perform live on a late-night TV show the other day. She did a terrific song called "The Closest Thing To Crazy". When she was finished, she received a huge ovation from the studio audience, and the host told the viewers to "go out and get her CD, before all your friends do". I decided to act on his recommendation, and I'm certainly glad I did!
When I heard Katie sing for the first time, I couldn't help but think of 40s/50s pop and jazz singers like Lena Horne - singing into an old "salt shaker" microphone at the old Brooklyn Paramount Theater. (She's HOW old?!) She really does have a lot of that "classic pop" sound and style. Among my favorite songs on the album are "The Closest Thing To Crazy", "Blame It On the Moon", and the title track, "Call Off the Search". The uptempo blues song "Crawlin' Up A Hill" is also a refreshing change of pace, and I particularly like Katie's rendition of Frank Sinatra's "Learning the Blues"as well. I think that fans of Norah Jones and Dido would enjoy this album very much (as I did).
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Format: Audio CD
I got a copy of this CD as an import about two months ago and have been listening to it steadily since then. In the UK, she's been compared to Norah Jones, and that comparison is at once apt and inappropriate. Like Norah, she is a singer, not a belter. Her voice is generally subdued but not bland. She also exhibits a playful, fun side, especially on "My Aphrodisiac Is You". Unlike Norah, though, she is not working in a primarily jazz idiom (although even Norah has moved out of that a bit on her latest CD). Katie is a bit of an acquired taste, but worth the time and investment. It seems that many singers today strain and scream to reflect emotion in their singing. Katie does it through understatement, and this works especially well on "The Closest Thing To Crazy" and "Call Off The Search". The former is my favorite song on the CD with its meditation of how love can be heaven and hell at the same time. Having heard a number of versions of "I Think It's Going To Rain Today", I found her interpretation to be subtle and affecting. This is especially notable since she's only 18 years old. Listen to the audio samples here and give it a shot if you like what you hear. She's a unique talent who may be headed for big things if her career is nurtured properly.
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Format: Audio CD
I've read the five-star reviews of this CD and respect them all. I simply couldn't see similar merits in it.
Like many, I was drawn by the hype of the "triple-platinum" sticker and "No. 1 in the UK" claim. I also acknowledge European and American tastes differ, sometimes greatly, and so made this purchase with a grain of salt and a little trepidation.
Katie Melua holds an acoustic guitar in photographs on the front and back of this album, yet I was barely able to hear a guitar in the massive orchestration that backs this earnest,"small" voice. The most helpful suggestion I can make to her producers is that you might have recorded this artist on acoustic guitar, using a more pared-down production, and you would have succeeded.
I am 52 years old and felt this recording was geared to a much older audience. Even the fetching opener, "Call Off the Search" gorks out on some very predictable and boring orchestral backup. And no, the sections aren't all in tune either, so why bother with an orchestra at all.
One special reason I bought the album is that it featured Randy Newman's song, "I Think it's Going to Rain Today," and I have never heard a vapid cover performance of this song until now. It may be that this type of song demands more grit, age and experience, but I simply think it was a vapid, commercial production.
This is sad because Ms. Melua is obviously committed and very thoughtful about her line-up. It's also sad because this is yet another recent UK smash that Universal has attempted to launch in the US with stickers instead of substance.
Is it ambient, pleasant music? Maybe. But if you're accustomed to listening to really great singers who perform similar material, I don't think you'll be happy here.
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