Sure, the backing track is a straight lift from the R&B chestnut "Such a Night" (by the Drifters, Elvis Presley, Johnnie Ray, and so on), and maybe 22-year-old Eliza Doolittle comes on a bit like Amy Winehouse-lite, but the tune works, and its climb to number five in the UK last year seems like something of a triumph in the midst of some truly dire days on the pop charts.
While her lineage would point to something a little more lofty--Doolittle's father is Royal Shakespeare Company director John Caird while her mother Frances Rufelle won a Tony for Les Miserables--the singer makes the most of her doe-eyed charm on this track, the best of the three singles from her eponymous debut CD. (The other two are "Rollerblades" and "Skinny Genes.")
The title comes from a line borrowed from the First World War ditty "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag," sung here by UK gospel singer and vocal coach Lloyd Wade, and it certainly adds to the carefree spirit of the song, best exemplified by the moment when Doolittle starts to tweet like a bird heading into the final chorus. It's a wonderfully sweet and oddball touch that helps elevate "Pack Up" above everyday pop stuff.
On iTunes: Eliza Doolittle / "Pack Up"
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.