Foun­tain of youth

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC -

Sun­shine, Hello Kitty). And well, the al­bum’s lead sin­gle, Here’s To Never Grow­ing is pretty self-ex­plana­tory.

Don’t get me wrong, Lav­i­gne’s al­bum is still top-notch – her lyrics, still able to cap­ture teenage angst. In fact, credit must be given to the singer-song­writer for con­sis­tently pro­duc­ing smash hits and re­main­ing rel­e­vant in the eyes (and ears) of our ever-evolv­ing, spoilt-for­choice teens and young adult (who were once teen fans of Lav­i­gne when she first be­came pop­u­lar) au­di­ence af­ter all th­ese years.

But real­is­ti­cally, how many more years does she have be­fore the act – and nat­u­rally, her phys­i­cal self – grows old? Another decade of the same Avril Lav­i­gne would just be plain mis­er­able (Can you imag­ine a 40-year-old Lav­i­gne still spew­ing pro­fan­i­ties and singing about want­ing to get hot and heavy with say ... a skater boy?).

To be fair, while most of the al­bum is dom­i­nated by th­ese teenage an­thems, Lav­i­gne hints at an artiste who can be just as suc­cess­ful sound­ing all grown up and ma­tured. She di­als it down in Give Me What You Like, a mov­ing bal­lad about des­per­ately want­ing to be loved by some­one, even some­one bro­ken. And in Hush Hush, a sweet pi­ano-driven num­ber about let­ting go a lover, Lav­i­gne is al­most un­recog­nis­able, show­ing off the softer side in her voice.

The al­bum cover, too, sug­gests a change in her im­age, sport­ing a sleek, el­e­gantly tied-up hairdo (a no­table de­par­ture from her usual stick straight blonde do with pink high­lights) and her ex­pres­sion serene and un­der­stated.

Who knows? Maybe Lav­i­gne is fi­nally grow­ing up.

(Sony Mu­sic) THERE’S lit­tle to say about the lat­est The X Fac­tor Aus­tralia win­ner Dami Im’s epony­mous re­lease.

What’s the point of com­ing up with an al­bum fea­tur­ing stu­dio record­ings of per­for­mances she gave dur­ing her stint at the re­al­ity singing com­pe­ti­tion? Im re­hashes her most out­stand­ing works (most of them gar­nered stand­ing ova­tions from The X Fac­tor judges) in all 11 tracks on the al­bum, in­clud­ing the win­ner’s sin­gle, Alive.

This be­ing Im’s de­but ma­jor re­lease, lis­ten­ers are prob­a­bly ex­pect­ing some­thing new, some­thing that would give them an idea of Im’s mu­si­cal di­rec­tion. Then again, per­haps the South Kore­aborn Aus­tralian singer is still find­ing her mu­si­cal iden­tity, but given the pres­sure to cap­i­talise on her win im­me­di­ately, it seems the safer de­ci­sion would be to churn out stuff she has done on the show.

For fans of Im, the al­bum is a great col­lec­tion of stu­dio record­ings of the singer at her best. As for those who don’t watch The X Fac­tor Aus­tralia, it’s just another cov­ers al­bum.

(Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic) NEWS broke two weeks ago that The Wanted has opted to go on a hia­tus as soon as it com­pletes its first ever world tour – to the dis­may of many fans, no doubt. The an­nounce­ment came two months af­ter the re­lease of its third stu­dio al­bum Word Of Mouth.

There’s no word yet on when the band mem­bers can be ex­pected to re­unite but it would be un­for­tu­nate if their tem­po­rary break is a har­bin­ger of the band’s per­ma­nent dis­band­ment, see­ing that Word Of Mouth is ac­tu­ally the band’s strong­est work yet.

While The Wanted isn’t ex­actly spec­tac­u­lar or the best thing that ever hap­pened to pop mu­sic, the boy band has given us nu­mer­ous ear­worms like Glad You Came, Light­ning and Chas­ing The Sun. This lat­est re­lease boasts of even more in­fec­tious tunes such as I Found You, We Own The Night and my guilty plea­sure, Walks Like Ri­hanna – each one be­com­ing suc­cess­ful ra­dio sin­gles.

But un­like many al­bums, many of Word Of Mouth’s non-sin­gles are sur­pris­ingly just as strong.

In fact, Love Sewn is so lyri­cally and mu­si­cally des­tined for ra­dio suc­cess I’m (slightly) mad that it hasn’t been re­leased as a sin­gle yet. In The Mid­dle has this hardto-shake-off open­ing line and an equally grip­ping cho­rus while Drunk On Love is rem­i­nis­cent of the band’s break­through hit Glad You Came.

But Every­body Knows has to be the al­bum’s most out­stand­ing track, open­ing up about their strug­gles with hav­ing to break off their re­la­tion­ships in the pub­lic eye. Hon­esty and melo­drama – it’s the way to go now since Bruno Mars of­fered to jump in front of trains and catch grenades for his lover.

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