Delta Goodrem releases first studio album in four years
Delta Goodrem sure likes to take her sweet time. The singer leaves gaps of four or five years between her album releases, but that is no reason for her Australian fans to abandon her. After more than 10 years in the business she is still going strong as one of Australia’s biggest pop stars. Goodrem, who had brief international success in 2003 with singles like ‘Born To Try’ and ‘Lost Without You’, is ready to launch her fifth record, called Wings of the Wild.
Although Goodrem kept her fans waiting for four years after the release of Child of the Universe in 2012, she did release at least one new single each year, of which the most recent ones made it to the album. The Voice Australia judge was back at number 1 in her home country last summer when she released the brilliantly catchy dance pop tune ‘Wings’. The most recent single ‘Dear Life’ also made it to the record and despite not being the most interesting single choice, the track works well in context of the whole record.
So what does that record sound like? On first listen two things are striking: Delta uses a lot of strings on this album and most tracks are actually quite uptempo. The singer-songwriter who had her breakthrough thanks to piano ballads, excels on big pop melodies, in a similar vain to ‘Wings’. She opens the album with the confident anthem ‘Feline’ that quite perfectly summarizes the sound of Wings of the Wild: the melodies are big, Delta’s voice is stunningly powerful and fragile at the same time and the productions are swinging and full of strings. ‘Enough’, a collaboration with rapper Gizzle was announced as next single and although the sentiment of needing the freedom to express who you are is more applicable than ever, I can’t help but feeling the tune sounds like it would have fit better in the charts ten years ago.
On ‘In The Name Of Love’, which seems to be her best shot as next single, the piano returns to the centre of attention in the verses and is followed by a strong hook and some banging beats. ‘I’m Not Giving Up’ is another pop anthem with a clear message about standing behind the choices you make and on the drums based ‘Encore’ she tells an ex lover not stay around after the show. Powerful stuff! Of course there are still a few piano ballads to enjoy as well. The beautiful and heartfelt single ‘Only Human’ gets company from the stunning ‘Heavy’ that has a breathtaking middle-eight in which Delta gives it her all vocally in a rapid pace. Her piano cover of The Darkness’ ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ works surprisingly well too!
Wings of the Wild might not be bold or unique enough to bring Delta’s international success back, but it perfectly showcases what she is capable of in terms of songwriting, vocals and irresistible pop melodies. On to another successful record in her home country!
Must listen: Feline, I’m Not Giving Up, In The Name of Love, Heavy, Wings
Update: Delta recorded a video for ‘The River’ and it is one of the best she has ever done. She looks fantastic as convincing femme fatale who goes down to the river for a baptism.