Natalie Imbruglia returns on October 5th with her latest album ‘Come To Life’. She’s piqued my interest of late, primarily with this album’s first single ‘Want’ which might just top the single ‘Torn’ as a potential career best (arguably the biggest millstone around her neck as a consequence).

I’ll confess I expected this album to be a soundtrack for the dinner party and I daresay the Tarquin and Jocasta’s of the world will doubtless shovel this up in droves and in one sense that’s quite a shame because there’s content here that potentially deserves a wider audience.

Imbruglia as an artist falls into a strange kind of middle ground, arguably spending a considerable portion her career in the shadow of the likes of Kylie and wearing the career noose that was being an Australian soap actress. The album for the most part stays in the field of acoustically driven pop, the melodies are light and summery with the exception of a couple of a tracks where Imbruglia wanders into slightly tougher electronic territory. Lyrically the offerings fairly strong with the usual reoccurring themes of love and loss being explored in slightly more depth than you might be used to on an album of this nature. In fact if anything Natalie proves she has something of a knack as a storyteller, couple this with assured and confident vocals and what you have is an artist who has created a surprisingly well rounded set of songs.

The album doesn’t always press the right buttons though tracks like ‘Cameo’ with its faux electro backdrop is an attempt to perhaps ‘do a Britney’ but the resulting sound is somewhat contrived and flat. The same goes for ‘Wild About It’, which is one of those jaunty shouty tracks that Australians seem to like doing, Christ I wasn’t even sure what she was wild about to be honest.

Still as an album it’s not bad. It might not make your end of year best of list but there’s material of merit on offer here. If you like pop this is worth more than a casual glance.