With this anniversary re-release of Lissie’s 2010 debut, Catching A Tiger, we are sensibly spared the ecologically disastrous ephemera which frequently accompany expanded editions. Instead the focus is on the music, with the vinyl being the flashiest option, coming as a limited edition double LP vinyl with a gatefold sleeve.
On its original release, Catching A Tiger was appreciated by the critics. Mojo magazine considered that Lissie’s voice “packs a punch, her songwriting is solid, and the album – while a little over-polished – is bursting with confidence”. The BBC thought “she sounds like one of the greatest female vocalists of a generation, arguably without even really trying”. Reviewers also compared Lissie to Stevie Nicks or Sheryl Crow, although as Uncut magazine pointed out, “the sound and songs here are a testament to her unaffected individuality”.
Standouts from the original album include the emotive “When I’m Alone” (the album’s second single) and the country-infused, idiosyncratic “Little Lovin’”. The energetic “Stranger” evokes the spirit of ‘60s girl groups, and the sparse accompaniment on “Oh Mississippi” shows off Lissie’s voice to great effect.
Included on the anniversary edition are five extra tracks, mostly previously unreleased, and all recorded during the original Catching A Tiger sessions in 2009. “Just Because I Can” is an introspective but powerful consideration of Lissie’s self-confessed fear of her potential. “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing Anymore” frets over the future of a relationship, but in a charmingly distinct way due to the stylish vocal and arrangement. “A Bird Could Love A Fish” also considers a troubled relationship in original, metaphorical terms. “It’s Not Me”, previously only available as a download with the “Cuckoo” single, is upbeat, melodic, sophisticated pop. “This Much I Know”, with its summary philosophy, is well sequenced to close.
Completists may be concerned that this re-release does not include all waifs and strays from around this period of Lissie’s career. Three tracks from earlier EP Why You Runnin’ made their way to Catching A Tiger, but two did not (“Wedding Bells” and “Here Before”) and are also not included here. Also omitted are the extra tracks to some singles, including the cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” (from the single of “Cuckoo”), and Led Zeppelin cover “Stairway To Heaven” (a live version at the BBC, from “Everywhere I Go”). However fitting these all onto one CD as well would likely have been problematic – as it stands, the five extra tracks included are more than enough to make this a worthy acquisition.
Also being released on or around the same time is Watch Over Me (Early Works 2002 – 2009), a collection of nine unheard formative compositions predating Lissie’s signing to a major label.
Label: The Orchard
Release Date: 20 AUG 2021