Release Date: Jul 31, 2015
Record label: Sony Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock
Returning from an extended absence -- she hasn't made an album since 2009's Come to Life and hasn't seen a record released in the U.S. since 2001's White Lilies Island, which was the sequel to her 1997 blockbuster Left of the Middle; a long time gone, in other words -- Natalie Imbruglia lands upon an interesting concept for her comeback: take 12 songs written by male singer/songwriters and recast them as feminine. For Imbruglia, this means reviving the hazy focus of her global blockbuster "Torn," a feel created with soft, strummed guitars and clear vocals, a sound that suits a middle-aged singer as comfortably as it does a young one, perhaps even a touch better.
Initial signs do not bode well for Natalie Imbruglia’s first album in six years. Male is a covers album full of songs made famous by, you guessed it, male artists. In interviews Imbruglia has described covering female artists as “scarier” and said it would be “more fun” to cover men. “Somehow when you flipped the sex you got a different interpretation straight away,” she said.
If you always dreamed you'd get a chance to hear Natalie Imbruglia sing "I Melt With You," your future just got a little more open wide. This Australian pop thrush broke hearts around the world back in the Nineties with her classic karaoke weeper "Torn," and Male has that same lying-naked-on-the-floor vibe: Imbruglia covers 12 songs made famous by dude acts, including Neil Young, Tom Petty, Pete Townshend, Death Cab for Cutie and Zac Brown Band. The ache in her voice oddly suits Daft Punk's "Instant Crush" and Iron and Wine's "Naked as We Came." The best moment is the most bizarre: Imbruglia turns the Cure's "Friday I'm in Love" into a country hoedown, complete with a so-not-goth banjo solo.