Snap judgment: KT Tunstall's 'Hold On'

Tunstall_lBack in 2005, suddenly ubiquitous KT Tunstall divided most of the world into two camps: Folks who declared "woo-hoo!" and those left grumbling, "ohhh, no-no-no." I’m one of the only people I know, in fact, who could never quite make up my mind about the Scottish singer-songwriter. True, I once performed a tipsy rendition of "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" on a friend’s Wii karaoke — hold the ridicule; song selection was limited! — and yet the mere thought of another romantic comedy trailer or uplifting TV drama montage featuring "Suddenly I See" sends me into a blinding rage.

Now, Tunstall is back with "Hold On," the first single from her upcoming album Drastic Fantastic. (The track is currently streaming here at her MySpace page.) And while the shuffling beat and the swampy guitar lick create a nifty foundation for Tunstall’s gruff vocals, the melody lacks the immediate snap, crackle, pop of her previous hits. It remains to be seen whether or not we’ll be hearing "Hold On" on everything from The Bionic Woman to Cashmere Mafia to Dancing With the Stars come this fall, but unless I succumb to an unexpected and brutal multimedia IV drip, I doubt this one will make its way to my iPod. How ’bout yours?

addCredit(“KT Tunstall: Derrick Santini”)


Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • Court

    I like it. It’s catchy, in a different, kind of discordant way than “Cherry Tree” or “Suddenly I See” were. Then again, I loved her last album, and most of the non-singles sounded nothing like those two songs.

  • NineDaves

    funny, i too struggled to make up my mind about kt. i never liked “black horse..” though i did kind of enjoy kat mcphee’s “on the ground” performance of the song on idol. and upon first listen, i rolled my eyes at “suddenly i see.” that is, until i heard it on “so you think you can dance” everytime a girl got voted off and it grew on me (to the point where, when i heard it in “the devil wears prada” opening, i cheered a little bit). maybe i just need simon fuller shows to make me love her…

  • Matt

    Hmm, I think it’s awfully catchy.

  • Snsetblaze

    I like it. I thought it was very catchy.

  • Lori

    The beginning makes me think of George Michael’s “Faith”, and though it’s catchy, it’s not wonderful.

  • Phil

    I bought it from iTunes last Tuesday Slezak. And I think KT’s performance from Live Earth a few weeks ago, was one of the few highlights from NJ.

  • Ellipsian

    I agree with you Court; KT’s album was much more diverse than the pop singles that introduced her to the world. I must say that although I think most of the album was merely slightly better than average, a few songs are just brilliant and I kept the whole thing playing on repeat for a good two weeks. KT is an actual artist and deserves success, no matter that on first listen “Hold On” sounds too close to “Black Horse” for my liking.

  • Myles

    Gotta admit: I like it. As someone who also enjoys the remainder of Eye to the Telescope perhaps as much as the singles (Stoppin’ the Love, in particular), I think “Hold On” sounds like a good progression. I’ll have to listen further to decide my final opinion, though.

  • jason

    “black horse” was one my 5 fave songs last year. i like “hold on” as well. can’t wait for the CD. radio not gonna play it? probably not. i don’t care, radio sucks.

  • Tipper

    It didn’t grab me immediately — I purchased it last week on iTunes, along with Kaiser Chief’s “Ruby” and a few others, to run to, and now I love it. Everytime it comes on my iPod, I start running a little faster, bouncing a little more. So–yeah, I guess I’d have to agree with the others that it’s pretty damned catchy. I’m excited to hear the rest of the new album (and I did really like the last one, despite the overplaying of “Suddenly I See”, which killed an otherwise really fun song).

  • Nick

    I love KT. saw her live, have the 2 albums (yes, Acoustic Extravaganza counts). I’ll def buy the next album….the this single is just ok to me

  • Joe

    I LOVE KT. I do wish the single Hold On had ‘legs’. There is majic in the song, however, the lyrics are not ‘singable’. The opening guitar sound sure ain’t “Satisfaction”!
    I will buy anything she records…Teenage Kicks or She Don’t Use Jelly (covers) should be her NEW SINGLE. Sorry, KT.

  • Joe

    P.S. Regarding the singability of “Hold On”. I have heard the tune a dozen times now…I STILL can’t sing the chorus…Let’s see….Hold On..To what you…something somedid lately…CAN’T SING IT! I want to be in the groove with KT…but how do you sing this song? Can’t get it IN my head because the lyrics are confusing and not strong and clear in the chorus.

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