2008 shows no sign of respite from the record labels as the current trend of female singer/songwriters rushes ahead full steam. Of course now that Miss Winehouse seems to be otherwise engaged, there’s an obvious gap in the market and the likes of Universal seem to be slinging ladies at the wall in the hope that at least one of them sticks.

Melody Gardot enters stage left with her debut album ‘Worrisome Heart’ on February 18th. With her feet planted firmly in the jazz camp, Universal are touting her as something of a prodigy in the field and at twenty two she does make something of an illustrious debut with this album and even if the genre isn’t your cup of tea (which is something that applies to me) this really does show talent and a hint of promise.

The opening track ‘Worrisome Heart’ is sufficient to hook you with it’s restrained musicianship that allow a stark open space for her voice to breathe. Lyrically there is little new on offer here and the age old themes of love and so forth are the order of the day. Vocally she does stand out from the current crop and although she lacks the individuality of Winehouse and say Duffy, she does know how to deliver the goods.

At times perhaps she lays the scatty bits down a bit thick (call me a philistine, I only know what I hear) and at times the songs do seem to go off the boil a little, in fact the album does seem to sag under it’s own weight about midway through and your attention does seem to wander a little.

Thankfully the content picks up it’s feet a little as ‘Quiet Fire’ loiters on the street corner of slinky territory. As the song’s title there are just hints of her putting her foot on the gas which in all honestly I would have liked to have seen more of this, because the hints we get are vague blink and you’ll miss them moments.

Still that aside, you get the delicious melancholy of ‘Love Me Like A River Does’ that broods in the manner you would expect a song with this kind of title would. And that does offer the album fitting closing stages.

Overall this is a more a showcase of a talent rather than a demonstration of anything new or innovative. If Gardot manages to survive the glut of individuals who are crawling all over this genre and emerges with a second album I would be intrigued to see just how she matures. For now though this is a reasonable effort.