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Boomkat Product Review:
Having briefly deserted the Chemikal Underground camp in favour of 4AD, Emma Pollock follows up her Watch The Fireworks debut album with a return to her old label. The former Delgado specialises in a line of sensitive, intelligent pop music that doesn't necessarily reveal its hand on first approach, although Pollock still manages to load the record with single potential; 'I Could Be A Saint' is one of the more immediate tracks on the album, alternating between stuttering, jagged verses and a big, fluid chorus asking "How you gonna break my heart/When you've never even made my day?" It;s probably heretical to say so, but it does sort of sound like something Chris Martin might write for Natalie Imbruglia on his day off - and weirdly, I actually mean that as a compliment. It's good to hear that Pollock still has the ability to fashion something with this much pop potential when she wants to, although the album offers plenty of evidence that this is a songwriter who can pull in a number of different directions all at once. 'Nine Lives' dips into swaggering New Orleans jazz for its choruses, stirring a great horn arrangement into the piece, while 'Confessions' tries electro-pop beats on for size. There are plenty of great slower songs here too, with a run of three tracks lodged in the middle of the album breaking down the tempo and venturing towards introspection ('House On The Hill', 'Letters To Strangers' and 'The Loop'). Pollock might be thought of as a Scottish equivalent to someone like Laura Veirs, honing her craft as a solo songwriter with a strong balance between modern grit and more classic tendencies. The Law Of Large Numbers marks a welcome return.