Review: A World Still Turning

The Guardian

John Fordham, 3rd September 2004


One of the contemporary scene's class acts on vocals, even if many others with less impressive skills make all the headlines. This American-produced album finds UK singer/pianist Shaw accompanying himself, and being supported by a fine acoustic group including pianist Billy Childs. The repertoire embraces Shaw's typically wide view of a classic song, with material by Bowie, Dylan, Elton John, Randy Newman and Radiohead. And if Shaw opts for a ballad-dominated mood here, his flexibility of pitch and imaginativeness of line create tension and anticipation in almost all of them. Shaw delivers a definitive version of Alone Again and an embracing account of Speak Low; he makes an eerie mystery in a sustained falsetto whisper out of Radiohead's The Tourist. But it's his soul-swinger duet on Soon As the Weather Breaks with an absolutely terrifying Mark Murphy that steals the show in a personal and affecting set.