Natalie Imbruglia

White Lilies Island

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Natalie Imbruglia was an instant charm with her 1998 debut single, Torn, and expectations for a follow-up to Left of the Middle were practically immediate. Imbruglia wasn't quick to rush, however. Instead of investing in the quick pop sound she made popular on her first album, she took her time in redefining herself as a songwriter with substance. Four years after becoming an international star, Imbruglia emerged with her finest work to date with White Lilies Island. It's a record that breathes something pure, and one can sense that she has complete control, lyrically and musically. Her spiritual and emotional connection remains the same, and White Lilies Island is her reflection of the reinvention. "Wrong Impression" is sweet with its twangy guitar riffs, and Imbruglia's softness is deceiving. She's quite dark, and challenges typical notions of love and acceptance. "Beauty on the Fire" and the heavy romance of "Do You Love" continue the fight. "That Day" and "Sunlight" are strikingly edgy, and Imbruglia's simplicity and energy are intoxicating. She couldn't have rushed this album. Imbruglia has made a brilliant pop record -- contemporary, yet timeless. White Lilies Island would have suffered without Natalie Imbruglia's perfectionism, and it would have lost sight of the elegance it so perfectly exudes.

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