Natalie Imbruglia Glorious: The Singles 97-07 Review

Compilation. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Glorious is a greatest hits compilation that will pass largely unnoticed.

Gemma Padley 2007

Poor old Natalie Imbruglia, cursed by the success of her first and most famous single, “Torn”, the track that catapulted her from ex-Neighbours wannabe musician to top selling recording artist; she has spent years since trying to match its commercial success.

Now, in her latest attempt to remind the public who she is, Imbruglia has pulled the singles from her ten-year music career together on a ‘best of’ compilation, (which precedes a new album in early 2008). To her credit, there is some new material here; album opener “Glorious” is a bright, upbeat ditty but ultimately lacks inspirational clout. The collection is filled with Imbruglia’s sunny, lightly rocky-pop: The emotion-fuelled tracks we all vaguely know, but never really loved.

Granted, Imbruglia has produced her share of respectable songs, which, while not groundbreaking, are agreeable in their own right. Take 1997’s “Big Mistake”; filled with battitude, swaggering drums and a banshee-screeching chorus, it reached number two in the UK. But despite being one of Imbruglia’s ‘big hitters’, it is cursed with a lingering M.O.R feel. Not even “Shiver”, the track penned by husband and Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, could catapult Imbruglia to lasting idol status.

But why, exactly, has the singer/actor never been an indomitable force? Vocally, you cannot lay criticism. The semi-rousing “Smoke” showcases a soaring vocal on a track that just falls short of achieving the level of emotional intensity it strives for. Her songs fit the pop song mould but it is precisely this refusal to break convention that has prevented Imbruglia from going anyway near the levels of success of female innovators such as PJ Harvey, Bjork or even KT Tunstall.

Overall, this is a hurriedly pulled together collection scrabbling to remind the listening public Imbruglia is still an active artist. While likely able to make industry ears twitch in recognition for all of thirty seconds, Glorious is a greatest hits compilation that will pass largely unnoticed.

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