On his breakout major-label debut, Twentysomething, the jazz-based English singer/ pianist Jamie Cullum nonchalantly covered Cole Porter, Jimi Hendrix, and Radiohead. The follow-up, Catching Tales, again finds him willfully determined to prove just how far the points of his stylistic compass can spread. While there are still nods to the old ("I Only Have Eyes for You") and the new (the Doves' "Catch the Sun"), it's Cullum's own songs that dominate, as he rummages through lounge-lizard swing ("Get Your Way"), funkish neo-soul ("Mind Trick"), and even social-commentary pop ("21st Century Kid"). If only his words and melodies were as accomplished as his keyboard playing, which continues to burst with energy and ideas.
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