Artist: Natalie Imbruglia
Label: Portrait/Sony Music
Release Date: 07/31/2015
Natalia Imbruglia returns after six years with Male, and although there isn’t any original material on the album, her interpretation of the male-written songs on the album makes them uniquely her own. Covering male songwriters who have influenced her, including Damien Rice, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Death Cab For Cutie, Imbruglia delights us with her much missed vocals.
I especially enjoy the country influenced track, “Goodbye In His Eyes,” on which Imbruglia showcases a different vocal style to her previous repertoire. The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love” is also refreshingly modern, twisted with a folk arrangement and the use of a banjo.
Imbruglia’s portrayal of the helpless, self-empowering romantic is even stronger and more persuasive in “Cannonball” and “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” fittingly. But moreover, her expression in “I Melt with You,” “I Will Follow you Into The Dark,” “The Waiting,” the beautiful “The Wind” and “Let My Love Open the Door” is uplifting and captures the essence of the songs with a feminine spark and her resonant pop vocals.
With a strong lead-single, “Instant Crush,” and a diverse collection of songs and genres from a variety of male songwriters, Imbruglia has come out with a very strong pop record with folk, rock and country stabs in the midst of Male. With no skip tracks and unique renditions, she surely brings out the “male” in “female.”
– Jason Kwan