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.