NATALIE IMBRUGLIA LEFT OF THE MIDDLE BMG

The delectable Natalie has turned her talents to a musical career, after thinking we would have all forgotten about her being in Neighbours. Sorry dear, no one can forget that, even if it was three years ago since you left. Her credibility was not assisted by the revelation that the debut (first-rate) single ‘Torn’ was not an original, and had in fact been done by about three other foreign artists in the past few years – to her credit she did come out and state that she had never claimed it to be her own, and the credits do not name her as having any lyrical or musical input into the songs creation.

Yet, it is with some irony that 10 of the album’s 12 tracks have been co written by Imbruglia, and damn fine songs they mostly are. There is probably no timeless classics that will be remembered in 20 years time, but there is still sufficient musical promise contained here-in to presage that her musical career could be a successful and lasting one. A couple of the tracks are turkeys (‘Leave Me Alone’, ‘Impressed’), but on the whole the album is a batch of decent songs which embrace pop/rock/A.O.R etc. such as the previously mentioned ‘Torn’, ‘One More Addiction’, ‘Big Mistake’, ‘Intuition’, ‘Pigeons And Crumbs’ and the just-got-to-be-a-single (‘cos I love it!) ‘City’, along with half decent tracks such as ‘Smoke’, ‘What Do You Think’, ‘Wishing I Was Here’ and the title track. At times she sounds like Shakespeare’s Sister meets Belinda Carlisle meets Meridith Brooks, but she has got a great pair of lungs on her (no comments!) and the album is well produced, so Beth, whoops sorry, Natalie can hold her head up high and believe that a musical career may be a rewarding one.

Taken from Scotland Calling Fanzine