Time for another lost gem that I dredged up from my iTunes library yesterday, though this is much more familiar to me, having had it on heavy rotation back in 2004, along with follow-up “Breathe In”.
This period was rife with earnest female singer songwriters, and I lapped it up at the time. Delta Goodrem, Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch etc, all great. But Lucie was a British addition to this roster.
I’d be tempted to say that arriving a little late to the party meant that poor Lucie never got quite the exposure to make her a big success, but then by 2004 the arse seemed to have fallen out of the market across the board, with all the above names (and more) floundering. Particularly Delta Goodrem, who had enjoyed a double-platinum hit album only a year before.
I love “What you’re made of”, a bleak ballad about the end of a relationship, and and poor Lucie throwing in the towel, exasperated at the lack of effort that her other half is putting in. By the look of the video, it doesn’t look like he’s great at DIY either, leaving Lucie in a squalid and depressing old house full of junk, surprisingly powerful desk fans and leaky water pipes.
It’s a favourite of mine because I can sing along to it, and end up feeling like I’m an awesome singer. I feel like she might shudder to consider it, but this could totally get a new lease of life – though realistically that would probably either come from an X-Factor contestant performance, or use on an advert like the latest clutch of earnest female singers have found (Charlotte Soraia, Gabrielle Aplin etc).
I think I have a copy of Lucie’s album knocking around somewhere, I was never brilliant at giving purchases a good listen at the time, so I must dust it off one day. But at least this song is good for these grim Autumn afternoons.
I just sort of assumed she’d be the sort to end up writing more than performing, like Karen Poole, Cathy Dennis, Nerina Pallot etc., but it seems that’s not the case. But I wonder if her recent writing credit on The Saturdays’ last album is a sign of things to come…