Review Summary: A strong first statement that will go unheard.
Three years of silence is a long time for any artist to overcome, let alone one waiting to release their first album. Dilana is known for her runner-up performance on the reality show Rockstar: Supernova, where she was mercifully spared the task of fronting Tommy Lee's ill-fated band. Happy to have lost, Dilana set out on her own to make the music she wanted to make, but luck was not on her side. Record deals came and went, tours were pulled, and she lost control of the record that she had worked so hard to produce. That album, rechristened InsideOut, has finally been released to see the light of day.
InsideOut is obviously the product of an artist looking to find her identity. Songs bounce from grinding modern rock, to punk, anthematic shouters, emotional ballads, world rhythms, and even a whiskey soaked psuedo-country epic. The album feels like patchwork, but still holds together, largely due to Dilana's strong and original voice. Her husky tone is hypnotic, giving even the weaker efforts a silver lining. The stronger material is heightened, her struggle finding its way into every vocal.
The track listing is oddly sequenced, placing the album's one-two punch in the second half. "Dirty Little Secret" is the emotional core of the album, a scathingly honest song that deserves better than this haphazard release. She sings in a raw voice "do you think you can bury the truth when you die/cover the shame with your lies after lie/hide all the pain so nobody sees it/I'm still here to bleed it/your dirty little secret." "Falling Apart" is the bookend, a straight ahead rocker with a huge chorus that could have topped the charts when rock music was still rock music.
The rest of the album can't live up to those two highlights, and several songs fall flat. "World Party" and "The Question" take up space more than they're worth, but even these lesser songs are made endearing enough to keep the album from sagging. Dilana hasn't quite hit a home run with her first outing, but given the story behind it, the results are still near miraculous.