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Album Review

Having reunited with her longtime mentor, former Wombles singer/songwriter Mike Batt, for her 2012 symphonic album, Secret Symphony, vocalist Katie Melua continues in an orchestral vein with her sixth studio album, 2013's Ketevan. Much like its predecessor, Ketevan is a languid, often cinematic-sounding album that builds upon Melua's talents as an interpreter of other people's material as well as her own songs. Having taken a creative detour to work with electronic producer William Orbit for 2010's The House, Melua once again returns to her roots as Batt's protégée. Raised in the Eastern European state of Georgia, Melua moved with her family to England when she was eight. Batt discovered the then 19-year-old Melua while she was attending the Brit School of Performing Arts in 2003. Subsequently, they have worked together on most of her albums. Taking its title from Melua's Georgian birth name, Ketevan features songs and arrangements from Batt, as well as contributions from his son Luke Batt. Melua also earns a handful of co-writing credits herself, as on the sinewy "Love Is a Silent Thief" and the '60s-influenced torch song "Chase Me," both of which beautifully showcase her crystalline technique and softly soulful style. As with other Melua/Batt productions, Ketevan also serves as a vehicle for Batt to flex his melodic skills as a songwriter and arranger. A veteran of '70s bubblegum pop, Batt has also experimented with rock opera and adult contemporary music, all of which he brings to bear on his work with Melua. Here, he frames Melua's voice in grand, sweepingly romantic arrangements on songs like "Sailing Ships from Heaven" and "I Will Be There," which sound something like Kate Bush singing Scott Walker compositions. Similarly, the Melua/Mike Batt/Luke Batt-composed "Where Does the Ocean Go?" is an ambitious folk-inflected epic inspired by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Fluid and utterly gorgeous, Ketevan is a unique and delicate vessel.

Customer Reviews


Ever the enchantress, Katie Melua is back again with another great album! On the heels of "Secret Symphony" comes this album, that feels as warm and cozy as a hot chocolate, and as classy as drinking the best wine at a Parisian cafe. Standout songs for me include "Chase Me", which sounds like something that came out of the 40's with it's lush vocals and nostalgic violins and piano. "I Will Be There", the song that was written for the Queen in honor of her Coronation Gala in 2013, is a beautiful ballad that celebrates a matriarch and also mothers everywhere. One of the most haunting tracks is "Sailing Ships from Heaven", which makes you want to evoke longing for a lost loved one with it's somewhat melancholic tone. Even still, a great track! Even though I'd love to see Katie do another "The House" kind of album again one day, this is a great record and proves she can still deliver great music, one decade after she burst onto the scene! Truly God's gift to music! Compared to other songwriters of this era, she doesn't come across as arrogant or over-the-top autobiographical. She's just Katie singing as only Katie can do! Give this album a listen!

Fabulous Voice

I purchased Katie Melua's First CD in England when visiting family. This CD is awesome! Katie has a fantastic voice & I have her songs in my Meditation playlist! My fav is Shiver N Shake, & Sailing Ships in Heaven!


Oh my lord, this is bad. Katie's voice on this particular album is frail and pitchy. I can't bear to listen through the whole thing again.


Born: September 16, 1984 in Kutaisi, Georgia, Russia

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Plucked from music-school obscurity by songwriter/producer Mike Batt, Katie Melua quickly became the highest-selling female musician in the U.K., a feat that owed much of its success to her wildly popular 2003 debut. Melua was born in Soviet Georgia in 1984 and later moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her family pulled up stakes several years later and relocated to London, where Melua entered the B.R.I.T. School for the Performing Arts & Technology. The record industry-funded school had a habit...
Full Bio