Caro Emerald: The Shocking Miss Emerald (Dramatico)

 |   |  1 min read

Caro Emerald: Black Valentine
Caro Emerald: The Shocking Miss Emerald (Dramatico)

When anyone asked "Why the Famous Elsewhere Questionaire?" I tell them of Little Richard who, when encountering James Brown and his newly formed band the Famous Flames, he said something along the lines, "You all is the only band that calls themselves famous before they've done anything".

Put "Famous" -- in this instance "Shocking" -- out there and enough people will buy into it.

There is nothing shocking at all about Caro Emerald's slinky and sophisticated sound which comes straight out of the high-fashion, slightly risque Fifties (with samples and scratching) and suggests cabarets, tango bars and ladies with cigarettes in long holders.

This Dutch jazz singer saw her debut Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor of 2010 set sales records in her homeland and reach #4 on the UK charts, this follow-up went straight to the top spot in Britain.

If there's nothing shocking about her, there's also not a lot original and her slightly smoky vocals or breezy bop style aren't especially distinctive. But she has the advantage of a canny producer, smart songwriters assisting or writing for her (Guy Chambers on the tango-pop of Tangled Up) good orchestration and those scratching beats which make this more contemporary than her peers.

So nothing to argue against and certainly a slightly sly wink'n'nod retro album, but its success in the UK does seem very surprising.

Perhaps it was just time for a sophisticated and different album like this.

It happens. Ask Sade et al. 

And if there's a Bond film in the offing she could be the one to call. Black Valentine has "roll credits" written all over it. 

Share It

Your Comments

Jos - Jun 17, 2013

Love the sound of this!

Mike - Aug 17, 2015

Its an interesting album. A kind of retro Madonna from an another time. The CD is a great recording with sounds like from a big movie theatre - try track one with a bit of volume. Very well recorded and a lot of depth to her vocals.

I also like Lavay Smith (and the red hot skillet lickers) and her voice, style of lyrics and big band era is similar to Caro.

Caro looks to be a good lookig "dame" from that era too! The days of when men were men and dames were dames!

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Greatest Hits (Blackheart)

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Greatest Hits (Blackheart)

If you quickly read the cover sticker on this belatedly released, 2010, 21-song double disc you'd be hooked,as you might think it pulls in eight songs by the Runaways (Jett's former band) alongside... > Read more

Julian Temple Band: Quiet Earth (Oscillosonic/Yellow Eye)

Julian Temple Band: Quiet Earth (Oscillosonic/Yellow Eye)

Noticed how in action movies so few actors speak these days? They tend use an amplified whisper which has the effect of raising tension -- even when very little is happening. San... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO a film by JAMES L. WALCOTT (1958) (Triton DVD)

THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO a film by JAMES L. WALCOTT (1958) (Triton DVD)

Everyone is allowed their guilty secrets when it comes to bad movies: I have an unnatural affection for Zardoz (Sean Connery in the future somewhere) and The Long Ships (in which Sidney Poitier... > Read more

DON GIOVANNI REVIEWED (2014): When opera goes clubbing

DON GIOVANNI REVIEWED (2014): When opera goes clubbing

It was Mae West who said, “Keep a diary and perhaps some day it will keep you”. This presumes you've had an interesting life, but former Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman... > Read more