Album Review: Lauren Aquilina – Isn’t It Strange?

lauren aquilina isn't it strange

Lauren Aquilina’s Isn’t It Strange is personal from start to finish
Today is a big day for Lauren Aquilina. After years of hard work in the music industry, she finally releases her debut album. Aquilina has to thank her mother for the very beginning of her career, as she recorded her daughter performing at school, which ended up being seen by a manager. The British singer with Maltese roots was only 17 years old when she released her first own music, the Fools EP in 2012. Three more EPs followed, but this year she takes an important next step with her first LP Isn’t It Strange.

Aquilina started the promotion for this record with the poppy and confident ‘Kicks’. With the second single, ‘How Would You Like It?’, she used a completely different approach. On this heartfelt piano ballad she lays her soul bare and shows off her vocals. The album as whole is more ‘Kicks’ than ‘How Would You Like It?’ though, with contemporary productions and radiofriendly choruses. These are not the only two tracks the fans already heard before this album saw the light of day though. She included a live version of ‘Fools’, her very first single, which makes this album not only her first LP, but also everything that happened before in her life and career coming full circle. The in 2015 released ‘Ocean’ functions as anthemic closer with its exciting build up and soaring vocals.

To be fair, all new tracks hit the right spot, but ‘Suddenly Strangers’ is definitely one of the best songs she has written so far. The ‘we’re suddenly strangers, isn’t it strange?’ hook is very catchy and the track just flows very well. The same goes for album opener ‘Midnight Mouths’ with a light electronic production and a straightforward pop chorus. ‘Wicked Game’ might be the proud owner of the most hit potential on Isn’t It Strange. The prominent drums dictate the rhythm and sonically she finds a place between the most recent albums by Birdy and Delta Goodrem. Good company for sure!

What makes Isn’t It Strange? such a delightful debut album, is Aquilina’s ability to combine the melodically strong pop tracks with highly personal lyrics. She has developed a very direct way of adressing subjects in her songs, which is refreshing. Whether it is the trying to move on after a bad break up on ‘How Would You Like It?’, calling a love interest out for only being interested in her because the person is lonely on ‘Midnight Mouth’ or describing the unexpected emotional distance between two ex lovers on ‘Suddenly Strangers’, you can feel her. Her stories are highly personal, but completely relatable at the same time. Isn’t It Strange? is a classy debut album from an extremely talented songwriter and vocalist! Talking ’bout bright futures here!

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