Album Review: Male – Natalie Imbruglia

Natalie Jane Imbruglia, British-Australian singer-songwriter, model and actress, began a singing career, after leaving her actress roots. Her album, Left of the Middle (1997), sold 7 million copies worldwide. Further releases, White Lilies Island (2001) and Counting Down the Days (2005), did not sell as well, although the latter became number one in the UK. In 2007 she made Glorious: The Singles 97–07, a hits compilation featuring the single “Glorious“, which peaked at 23 in the UK singles chart. Since 1997 Imbruglia has sold 10 million album copies. She co-starred in the 2003 film Johnny English and was leading actress in the 2009 film Closed for Winter. In 2015, she announced a newly recorded album of songs which were previously sung by males. The album, Male, her first since 2009’s Come To Life, was released in July 2015, and will be followed by an album of original material. Although cover albums are a risky business, Male was on the higher-quality end of the spectrum. With songs from Daft Punk, The Cure, Death Cab for Cutie, and others, Male is upbeat and bouncy.

Natalie Imbruglia
Natalie Imbruglia.

Instant Crush is a cover by Natalie Imbruglia of the Daft Punk song. On March 23rd, 2015, the radio edit was released as the first single from Male. In an interview with Digital Spy, Natalie was asked if she was nervous about the reaction of Instant Crush, because it was a very bold step to take.”Of course I was – I always am. But I really love my version of it, and I love the song … It’s such a different interpretation, so for me you’ve got to get to a place where it can’t be about how people respond to it,” Natalie says. It starts off with acoustic guitar, with Natalie singing, “I didn’t want to be the one to forget/I thought of everything I’d never regret/A little time with you is all that I get/That’s all we need because it’s all we can take/One thing I never see the same when you’re ’round/I don’t believe in him – his lips on the ground”. In the next song, Cannonball, it starts off with soft piano leading into Imbruglia singing, “Still a little bit of your taste in my mouth/Still a little bit of you laced with my doubt/Still a little hard to say what’s going on/Still a little bit of your ghost, your witness/Still a little bit of your face I haven’t kissed/You step a little closer each day/That I can’t say what’s going on.” This song has a mellow mood to it, as does Instant Crush. It stays with the same acoustic and piano theme throughout the song pretty much. The Summer has the same easygoing mood. Natalie sings, “If I could bottle up the sea breeze/I would take it over to your house/And pour it loose through your garden/So the hinges on your windows would rust and colour/Like the boats pulled up on the sand for the summer/And your sweet clean clothes would go stiff on the line/And there’d be sand in your pockets and nothing on your mind.”

Album Cover for Male
Album Cover for Male

Although sometimes cover albums can easily crash and burn, Imbruglia did a lovely job with Male. There’s no telling where she’ll go next, but rest assured whatever it is will be wonderful.

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