CITY OF LONGING
This is the album Tina Harrod had in her all along. Here there’s no attempt to be something, whether an r’n’b singer, a jazz singer or anything else. Here she just is. Harrod always had the ability to sing with such conviction as to make listening convulsive, but the good songs were muddied by ordinary ones. Now she has achieved the exceptional, song by song, bar by bar. Alongside her spearing lyrics a huge slice of the credit goes to her chief collaborator, Stu Hunter, one of Australia’s most imaginative and ambitious composers.
Their jointly-penned songs defy categorisation and continually jolt the listener with improbable musical leaps – not being arty for the sake of it, but simply maximising each song’s potential. Further realising that potential is brilliant musicianship and production. Hunter, who plays keyboards as well as producing, is joined by guitarist Cameron Deyell, bassist Dave Symes and drummer Evan Mannell, with guests, backing singers, horns, a string quartet and even a choir. Burning through the dazzling arrangements comes Harrod’s voice, a blowtorch of intensity that can subside to moments of affecting tenderness.