Review Summary: It’s got typical pop instruments, some pretty cliché sometimes-meaningful and fun lyrics, but a wonderful voice to back them all.
Well she began her career with a baby voice, but where is she now and what is she doing? 2000’s The Power
wasn’t all that powerful. Mark Holden
in a sense did what he does best; tried to make something out of nothing, without considering the artist’s impressions. And with him now out of the way as one of the panel judges on Australian Idol, it’s been nearly 9 years since she made her debut. Nevertheless, her voice is still with her, and better then ever. Without releasing anything for such a long time can generate two effects, both of which bound to particular constituencies over the globe. It’s either complete anticipation through the niche of fans that still follow her, or just simply, “oh that girl… who was she”. Without her international success through “Absolutely Everybody”
, she would have had to start all over again, but thankfully, for her, she’s got that behind her driving the sales and memories for those young girls who once idolised her.
Those girls, wherever they may be now, would have been quite surprised when she suddenly appeared out of nowhere with the rocky respect-me track “Kiss Your Mama!”
Being the teaser, it was left a little early, but at least not too late, managing to make it before the Christmas rush. But what may have fooled those who interpreted Kiss Your Mama was that it’s not the strongest track from her latest release Somewhere in the Real World
. And if they happened to pick up the album, wouldn’t have been particularly been impressed with album opener “Start It”
either. All the same she’s still managed to producer an excellent release. There are so many wonderful tracks on this album that provide a vehicle for her vocal talents, song writing skills and maturity over the years. She’s quoted as saying the album is best to be described as a story about her journey towards the person that she is today. Sounding as contrived as that is what all musicians do best. Honestly how many people associate themselves with song themes and lyrics (in particular) to that effect?
But still, lyrics and vocals are what make these types of recordings. And naturally, Amorosi uses this to her full advantage. After all she is a very talented vocalist which is best described between flashes of Arethra Franklin
, Tina Arena
and even the vibrato that’s linked to the female voice of the current demographic. On The Power she showed this quite well at times, but never really took it to the fullest that could have been achieved. Whether or not she took this to the recording table, producer Ron Aniello
has left his ego to the side, and captured her voice as is should have been; unprocessed, dynamic, emotional and engaging amongst other things. Most of the time, her style is left all the space to evolve through the verse-chorus structures of the songs, but also leaves plenty of room for instrumentation to take the lead in times of importance.
With the processed effects left out of her way, it gives reason for some unavoidable experimentation to occur. Start It and Kiss Your Mama both revel the cliché production technique of double-tracking soft/spoken vocals above clouded wailing in the backdrop. The effect is noticeable, though not completely desirable, especially for something that’s been over abused in many recent releases of this style to shadow out bad talents. But as these songs show the effect of bad trials, the opposite comes into effect during the course happy-go-love songs “I Though We’d Stay Together”
and “I Want Your Fire”
where the Chipmunks seem to make a cameo appearance. Amorosi even takes the opportunity to throw in a word into the works that’s not commonly used. Hint begins with f
If you’re after some fairly decent hits to bop to, there’s a lot of the plate as well. Single “Perfect” is wonderful, despite the obvious drama that unfolds as the song goes by. "A Little Love"
is a forgotten highlight and reminiscent of Savage Garden
’s electro-pop journeys in the late nineties. Not to forget her soulful talents in “Somewhere in the Real World”
and then on to the amazing range in “19 Turning Point”
. The only thing that’s really missing is the lack of backing instrumentation to hold her up in times of vocal extravaganza, and of course the odd song that doesn’t help complete the picture that Somewhere in the Real World is. But overall, it’s pleasant to see someone return to the limelight with something better to offer, and something that’s certainly going to be more sonically defining then her debut.