Piece by Piece

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Piece by Piece

Piece by Piece is Katie’s second album and was released in 2006. Its first single, “Nine Million Bicycles”, became Katie’s first top five hit in the UK.
The second single was a double A-side comprising “I Cried for You” and a cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”.
The former song was written after Melua met the writer of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and is about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, while the latter was recorded for the soundtrack to the film Just Like Heaven.

Katie wrote the title song “Piece by Piece” after she broke up with her boyfriend Luke Pritchard, and “Half Way up the Hindu Kush” was written by Katie and Mike Batt as a joke playing on the innuendo implicit in the title phrase, which cropped up in a conversation about scarves on a train journey. Katie wrote the chorus and Mike the verses.
Alongside covers of “Blues in the Night” and Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again”, the album includes “Thank You, Stars”, which was previously released as a B-side on Katie’s debut single “The Closest Thing to Crazy” in 2003.

The album was re-released in 2006, as Piece By Piece: Special Bonus Edition, with three additional tracks and a bonus DVD with concert Moment by Moment and promo videos.

Tracklist:

    1. Shy Boy
    2. Nine Million Bicycles
    3. Piece by Piece
    4. Halfway up the Hindu Kush
    5. Blues in the Night
    6. Spider’s Web
    7. Blue Shoes
    8. On the Road Again
    9. Thank You, Stars
    10. Just Like Heaven
    11. I Cried for You
    12. I Do Believe in Love

A special edition for Spanish department store El Corte Inglés had additional tracks – Spanish versions of ‘Closest Thing to Crazy’ (Esa Clase de Locura) and ‘Faraway Voice’ (Otra vez tu).
The USA release features two extra tracks – ‘Jack’s Room’ and ‘Market Day in Guernica’

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01. Shy Boy

I’m sittin’ in the window of a street cafe
Watchin’ you walking by each day,
It seems that you always wanna look my way
Hey, you can’t deny, boy,
You’re such a shy boy.

So good looking you seem to be
But you’re too tongue-tied to say hi to me,
You could make it happen so easily
Woah, I’ll tell you why boy,
‘Cos I’m looking for a shy boy

Most guys advertise
By making eyes and telling lies
If you only knew,
You could make your dreams come true
All you gotta do is ask me to

If this was a quiz on a TV show
And the prize was a guy who would love me so

Whatever they ask, the answer I know
Hey, my reply boy
Is gimme a shy boy.

Most guys advertise
By making eyes and telling lies
If you only knew
You could make your dreams come true
All you gotta do is ask me to

Some guys act a bit too sure
And maybe you’re thinkin’ that less is more
But Honey, you still gotta knock on my door
Hey, just try boy,
And you could be my boy

I’ll tell you why boy
I’m looking for a shy boy,
Just try boy, you’re such a shy boy

02. Nine Million Bicycles

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a fact,
It’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die.

We are twelve billion light years from the edge,
That’s a guess,
No-one can ever say it’s true
But I know that I will always be with you.

I’m warmed by the fire of your love everyday
So don’t call me a liar,
Just believe everything that I say

There are six BILLION people in the world

More or less
and it makes me feel quite small
But you’re the one I love the most of all

We’re high on the wire
With the world in our sight
And I’ll never tire,
Of the love that you give me every night

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing
That’s a Fact,
it’s a thing we can’t deny
Like the fact that I will love you till I die

And there are nine million bicycles in Beijing
And you know that I will love you till I die!

03. Piece by Piece

First of all must go
Your scent upon my pillow
And then I’ll say goodbye
to your whispers in my dreams.
And then our lips will part
In my mind and in my heart,
Cos your kiss
Went deeper than my skin.

Piece by piece
is how I’ll let go of you
Kiss by kiss
Will leave my mind one at a time
One at a time

First of all must fly,
My dreams of you and I,
There’s no point of holding on to those
And then our ties will break,
For your and my own sake,

Just remember,
This is what you chose

Piece by piece
Is how I’ll let go of you
Kiss by kiss,
will leave my mind one at a time
One at a time

I’ll shed like skin,
Our memories of lazy days,
And fade away the shadow of your face

Piece by piece
Is how I’ll let go of you
Kiss by kiss,
Will leave my mind one at a time
One at a time
One at a time
One at a time

04. Halfway up the Hindu Kush

The first time that I saw you
I said for goodness sake
That man’s got the power
he’s a charmer with a snake
I was thrille and fascinated
but somehow liberated,
When you took me to a place I’d never been.
You showed me lots of things I’d never seen

You set me free
as if you’d taken me,
Halfway up the Hindu Kush
And I love you,
for showing me the view
from halfway up the Hindu Kush

The next time that I saw you, you looked into my eyes
I was sitting on your carpet when I felt it begin to rise.
I kinda got the feeling,
I was floating to the ceiling,

Instead of looking at the sky
you picked me up and showed me how to fly.

You set me free, as if you’d taken me,
Halfway up the Hindu Kush
And I love you
for showing me the view,
From halfway up the Hindu Kush

From halfway up the Hindu,
from halfway up the Hindu,
From halfway up the Hindu Kush.

You set me free, as if you’d taken me,
Halfway up the Hindu Kush
And I love you,
for showing me the view,
From halfway up the Hindu Kush.
Halfway up the Hindu Kush

05. Blues in the Night

My mamma done told me,
when I was in pigtails,
My mamma done told me, Hon,
A man is a two-face
he’ll give you the big eye,
And when the sweet talking’s done.
A man is a two-face,
A worrisome thing who’ll leave you to sing,
The blues in the night

Now the rains a-fallin’
hear the trains a-callin’, whooee!
Hear the lonesome whistle
blowin’ across the trestle, whooee
a-whooee-ah-whooee, clickety-clack,
Comes echoing back,
The blues in the night.

From Natchez to Mobile,
from Memphis to St. Joe,

Wherever the four winds blow.
I’ve been in some big towns
and heard me some big talk,
But there is one thing I know.
A man is a two-face, a worrisome thing who’ll leave you to sing,
The blues in the night

My mamma done told me,
when I was in pig tails,
My mamma done told me, Hon,
a man is a two-face,
he’ll give you the big eye
And when the sweet talking’s done.
A man is a two-face,
a worrisome thing
who’ll leave you to sing,
The blues in the night.

My mamma done told me

06. Spider’s Web

If a black man is racist, is it okay?
If it’s the white man’s racism that made him that way,
Because the bully’s the victim they say,
By some sense they’re all the same.

Because the line between,
Wrong and right,
Is the width of a thread,
From a spider’s web.
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.

I could tell you to go to war,
Or I could march for peace and fighting no more,
How do I know which is right,
And I hope he does when he sends you to fight.

Because the line between wrong and right,
Is the width of a thread from a spider’s web,
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.

Should we act on a blame?
Or should we chase the moments away?
Should we live?
Should we give?
Remember forever the guns and the feathers in time.
Because the line between wrong and right,
Is the width of a thread from a spider’s web,
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind

07. Blue Shoes

These blue shoes seem to suit me well,
When I feel like hell,
As I do now that you’re gone
Lost and lonely since you stopped caring,
I’ve been wearing my new shoes.
I’ve been wearing my blue shoes.

You and I made the perfect pair,
It don’t seem fair,
I loved you more than you know.
Sorry I’m such a sorry state,
But while I wait for some good news,
I’ll be wearing my blue shoes.

Don’t feel like walking strong,
Shufflin’ along on my way home.

Trudgin’ down that shopping street,

Where we used to meet.
But I ain’t buying.
I’m wearing my blue shoes and crying.

These blue shoes seem to suit my sould,
Since you shot that hole.
Since you shot that hole in my heart
And if I wind up on the sidewalk bleeding
I won’t be needing my new shoes
Won’t be needing my blue shoes.

These blue shoes seem to suit me well
When I feel like hell,
As I do now that you’re gone
Lost and lonely since you stopped caring
I’ve been wearing my new shoes
I’ve been wearing my blue shoes

08. On the Road Again

Well I’m so tired of cryin’ but I’m out on the road again.
Well I’m so tired of cryin’ but I’m out on the road again.
I ain’t got nobody just to call my special friend.

You know the first time I travelled out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
You know the first time I travelled out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
I didn’t have no fellow, not even no place to go

And my dear mother left me when I was quite young
When I was quite young
And my dear mother left me when I was quite young
When I was quite young
She said “lord have mercy on my wicked one.”

Take a hint from me mama please don’t you cry no more
Take a hint from me mama please don’t you cry no more
Cause it’s soon one morning down the road I’m gone

But I ain’t going down that long and lonesome road
All by myself
But I ain’t going down that long and lonesome road
All by myself
If you ain’t comin’ with me I’m gonna take somebody else.

Well I’m so tired of cryin’ but I’m out on the road again.
I ain’t got nobody just to call my special friend.
I ain’t got nobody just to call my special friend.
I ain’t got nobody just to call my special friend.

09. Thank You, Stars

Some call it faith, some call it love.
Some call it guidance from above.
You are the reason we found ours,
So thank you stars.

Some people think it’s far away,
Some know it’s with them everyday.
You are the reason we found ours,
So thank you stars.

There are no winds that can blow it away on the air,
When they try to blow it away ‘s when you know it will always be there.

To some it’s the strength to be apart,
To some it’s a feeling in the heart.
And when you’re out there on your own, it’s the way back home.

There are no winds that can blow it away on the air,
When they try to blow it away ‘s when you know it will always be there.
Some call it faith, some call it love.
Some call it guidance from above.
You are the reason we found ours,
So thank you stars.
Thank you stars,
Thank you stars,
Thank you stars

10. Just Like Heaven

Show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream he said
The one that makes me laugh he said
And threw his arms around my neck
Show me how you do it
And I promise you I promise that
I’ll run away with you
I’ll run away with you

Spinning on that dizzy edge
I kissed his face and kissed his head
And dreamed of all the different ways I had
To make him glow
Why are you so far away? he said
Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you
That I’m in love with you

You, soft and only
You,lost and lonely
You, strange as angels

Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You’re just like a dream
You’re just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe his name
I opened up my eyes
And found myself alone alone
Alone above a raging sea
That stole the only boy I loved
And drowned him deep inside of me

You, soft and only
You, lost and lonely
You, just like heaven

You, soft and only
You, lost and lonely
You, just like heaven

11. I Cried for You

You’re beautiful so silently
It lies beneath a shade of blue
It struck me so violently
When I looked at you

But others pass, the never pause,
To feel that magic in your hand
To me you’re like a wild rose
They never understand why

I cried for you
When the sky cried for you
And when you went
I became a hopeless drifter
But this life was not for you
Though I learned from you,
That beauty need only be a whisper

I’ll cross the sea for a different world,
With your treasure, a secret for me to hold

In many years they may forget
This love of ours or that we met,
They may not know

how much you meant to me.

I cried for you
And the sky cried for you,
And when you went
I became a hopeless drifter.
But this life was not for you,
Though I learned from you,
That beauty need only be a whisper

Without you now I see,
How fragile the world can be
And I know you’ve gone away
But in my heart you’ll always stay.

I cried for you
And the sky cried for you,
And when you went
I became a hopeless drifter.
But this life was not for you,
Though I learned from you,
That beauty need only be a whisper
That beauty need only be a whisper

12. I Do Believe in Love

They say we never landed on the moon
There’s no wind there, they assume
I guess conspiracies are nothing new,
But I’m sure I’ve been there with you.

And I don’t believe that in space
The only life is here on earth
How could we be the only race
That loves and hates ’til death from birth?

But I do believe in love,
Though I should never rely on love
Nothing else excites me,
But loving you.

Is it true a politician’s heart
Can rust away and fall apart?
I guess it must be hard,
It must be hard,
To know what’s good
and to know what’s easy

You might think it’s strange,
For all my wild ideas,
But I do not believe that change,
Can ever happen without tears.

But I do believe in love,
Though I should never rely on love
Nothing else excites me,
But loving you

Release Year: 2005 | Cat: Dramatico DRAMCD0007

CD Booklet Text:

Vocals: Katie Melua
Guitars: Katie Melua, Chris Spedding, Jim Cregan
Piano: Mike Batt (Katie Melua on track 12)
Bass: Tim Harries
Drums: Henry Spinetti
Solo Trumpet: Dominic Glover
Solo Violin: Mike Darcy
Percussion: Martin Ditchman, Chris Karan
Harmonica: Paul Jones (“Blues In The Night”)
Ethnic Flutes: Adrian Brett (“Nine Million Bicycles”)
Mandolin: Peter Knight (“Thank You Stars”)
Sitar: Craig Pruess (“Hindu Kush”)

Orchestra: The Irish Film Orchestra
Conductor – Mike Batt

All tracks arranged and produced by Mike Batt
except track 10 produced by Mike Batt and Ralph Sall

Katie and Mike would like to thank Steve Croxford (tour manager) and Dramatico staff Andrew Bowles, Jo Larby, Pete Rutland, Paul Kerslake, Rosanna Black and Suresh Shah. Also Nick Peters (hair), Carol Hoffman (make-up) and Julianne White (lots of things). Also thanks to all our touring crew and additional touring musicians. Dramatico would like to thank all the valued international partners who promote and distribute the Dramatico label worldwide, and James Wyllie for legal representation and generally being a tower of strength.

Engineered by Steve Sale
Additional engineering by Haydn Bendall
and Peter McCabe (on “Just Like Heaven”)

Photography by Simon Fowler
(except beach silhouette
and live “montage” shots: Jo de Banzie)

Design by www.wearetourist.com

Writers:
Tracks 3, 6, 11 & 12 (Melua)
Track 4 (Melua / Batt)
Track 5 (Arlen / Mercer)
Track 8 (Jones / Wilson)
Track 10 (Gallup / Smith / Thompson / Tolhurst / Williams)
Tracks 1, 2, 7 & 9 (Batt)

Publishers:
Tracks 3, 6, 11 & 12
(Melua Music Ltd. / Sony / ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd.)
Track 4 (Dramatico / Melua Music Ltd. / Sony / ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd.)
Track 5 (Chappell Music Ltd.)
Track 8 (EMI United Partnership Ltd.)
Track 9 (BMG Music Publishing Ltd.)
Track 10 (Fiction Songs Ltd.)
Tracks 1, 2 & 7 (Dramatico / Sony / ATV Music Publishing (UK) Ltd.)

All lyrics reproduced by kind permission of the publishers

Rating: ★★★★☆
http://www.sputnikmusic.com

…All in all, Piece By Piece is an excellent release, especially for such a young artist. The only flaws it suffers from are that the album gets a little dull and has very little replay value and that it features the occasional clichéd and/or dumb lyric, despite most of the lyrics being quite good.
While there isn’t really a terrible song on the album, some aren’t nearly as good as others. Katie does a great job fusing old jazz vocalist ethics with modern pop standards and deserves to be held up at (or near) the level of Norah Jones.
Piece By Piece, despite its horribly unoriginal name, is original and very pretty and comes highly recommended for fans of the style of music. I’m glad I stayed awake long enough after watching An Inconvenient Truth to discover this gem.

Rating: ★★★★★
Pieces add up

Melua is not unlike Norah Jones; a jazzy feel is throughout the set. This album is more pop music oriented than her previous set, Call of the Search. Personally I feel this is a better album, the arrangements are tighter and here we have stronger melodies.

There are no stinkers on this album. Nine Million Bicycles has already been a deserved huge hit world wide with its mystic oriental sound (and a fine accompanying video). The re-make of the Cure’s Just like Heaven is a fantastic version that has been a big radio hit in my neck of the woods. Instead of the synthesizers Katie provides a simple arrangement with a guitar in the foreground and soft singing. I like this version even better than the original one which still has aged remarkably well. The third minor hit of the album is Spider’s Web which boasts lyrics worth taking note of and a tight production. I saw this track live on TV, that version was more energetic and even better. The musicians on this album, by the way, are top performers and one can really tell. The title track is also a grower, which showcases how Katie can handle well delicate singing.

Piece By Piece is an easy sounding album with high standards. It is not groundbreaking but it is immaculately done and yet full of life. I recommend it.