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Counting Down the Days
     

Counting Down the Days

by Natalie Imbruglia
 

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Arguably the best of the plethora of soap stars turned pop stars, Natalie Imbruglia appears to have performed a rather frustrating musical U-turn for her third album. Whereas her difficult but underrated sophomore effort understandably attempted to break away from the commercial acoustic pop sound that saw "Torn" become one of the biggest singles of the '90s,

Overview

Arguably the best of the plethora of soap stars turned pop stars, Natalie Imbruglia appears to have performed a rather frustrating musical U-turn for her third album. Whereas her difficult but underrated sophomore effort understandably attempted to break away from the commercial acoustic pop sound that saw "Torn" become one of the biggest singles of the '90s, Counting Down the Days actively embraces it. Whether this is a conscious decision to rekindle her former multi-platinum transatlantic success, or whether Imbruglia is just in a happier songwriting frame of mind, it's still a confusing and disappointing change in direction. For all the bittersweet melancholy and dark undertones of White Lilies Island suggested an interesting career ahead, yet only on a few occasions does Counting Down the Days veer into this territory. Instead, the majority is made up of fairly inoffensive radio-friendly pop songs such as opener "Starting Today" and the Eg White-produced "Perfectly," both of which are little more than "Torn" Mark Two. Even the presence of husband Daniel Johns, formerly of grunge outfit Silverchair, on production duties, can't save the Beatlesque "Satisfied" from lapsing into blandness. But when Imbruglia is allowed to stray from this formula, she excels. "Shiver" is a charming and obvious lead single fully worthy of its huge airplay success; the title track with its chiming bells sounds like a lost Christmas classic, and the brooding "Come on Home," with its chorus of "we can fall apart together" effortlessly manages to pull at the heartstrings. And as an artist, Imbruglia has never sounded better. The breathy Alanis imitations of her debut have now been replaced by understated but self-assured vocals that are able to convey intensity and warmth in equal measures. None more so than on the album's highlight, the Björk-influenced "Honeycomb Child." With its enchanting mix of music boxes, violins, and electronica, it sounds like it appeared from a different record entirely and is proof that Imbruglia can pull off edgier material when she wants to. Counting Down the Days will undoubtedly be a commercial success but its play-it-safe attitude undoes some of the good work done by its predecessor. A few more risks next time wouldn't go amiss.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
Label:
Sony Bmg Europe
UPC:
0828766796728
catalogNumber:
667967

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Imbruglia   Primary Artist
Gary Clark   Guitar,Strings
Pete Davis   Keyboards
Geoff Dugmore   Drums
Martin Harrington   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Keyboards
Drusilla Harris   Violin
Sally Herbert   Strings
Stephen Lipson   Guitar,Mandolin,Keyboards
Chuck Sabo   Drums
Danton Supple   Egg Shaker
John Themis   Acoustic Guitar
Ben Hillier   Dulcimer,Piano
Ash Howes   Bass,Keyboards
Paul Mac   Piano,Keyboards
Daniel Johns   Guitar,Background Vocals
Kenny Dickerson   Piano,Keyboards
Alison Clark   Background Vocals
Rick Wilson   Guitar
Richard Jones   Bass
Rheinallt Ap Gwynedd   Bass
Seton Daunt   Guitar
Kim Moyes   Drums,Glockenspiel
David Kosten   Keyboards
Peredur ap Gwynedd   Guitar
John Greswell   Mandolin
James Haselwood   Bass
Katch Koffee   Background Vocals
Kenny Dickenson   Piano,Keyboards
Julian Hamilton   Keyboards
Petra Jean Phillipson   Background Vocals
John Sundry   Guitar
Stephen Lipson   Guitar,Mandolin,Keyboards
Neil Taylor   Guitar

Technical Credits

G. Clark   Composer
Gary Clark   Producer,Engineer
Pete Davis   Programming
Martin Harrington   Composer,Producer
Stephen Lipson   Programming,Producer
Heff Moraes   Engineer
Steve Robson   Composer
Ian Stanley   Producer
Danton Supple   Engineer
John Themis   Instrumentation
Kara DioGuardi   Composer
Ben Hillier   Producer
Ash Howes   Composer,Producer
John Dunne   Programming
Natalie Imbruglia   Composer
Paul Mac   Producer
Daniel Johns   Producer
Chris Rown   Engineer
Shep Solomon   Composer
Keith Uddin   Engineer
Anton Hagop   Engineer
David Kosten   Composer,Programming,Producer,String Arrangements,keyboard arrangements
Matt Prime   Composer
F. White   Composer
Stephen Lipson   Programming,Producer
Chris Brown   Engineer

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