DELTA GOODREM – WINGS OF THE WILD (ALBUM REVIEW)

It’s been four long years since Delta Goodrem’s last studio album, Child of the Universe. In that time, Delta has shifted her focus towards judging on the reality tv show The Voice. Last year she finally re-emerged onto the pop music scene with her comeback single Wings, which became another number 1 hit here in Australia.

On Wings of the Wild, her fifth studio album, she reunites with her writing partner Vince Pizzinga who co-wrote several tracks from Innocent Eyes and Mistaken Identity. She’s also collaborated with some fresh new talent including DNA (Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci), Martin Johnson and Sam Hollander. It’s a mostly uptempo album with several stunning ballads that play to Goodrem’s strengths.

Here is my track by track review of the album:

1. FELINE…This opening track opens with a beautiful string arrangement which quickly segways into a stomping dancefloor hit. Delta is essentially picking up the thread of “Hunters and the Wolves” from her last album, continuing the wild animal metaphors of represent her inner strength (It’s my time to be the fearless queen out in the wild. I’m the leader of the pack. Got the scars of a warrior). There are also some lovely middle Eastern sections in between the verses which cuts in and out of the song.

2. WINGS….This is the first single to be released from the album. Unlike her last album, this was a brilliant introduction to get Delta fans and casual fans alike excited about her new release. All the right elements are there…an engaging bass line, a storming electronic beat, pounding piano chords and Delta’s strong urgent vocal delivery. Lyrically it’s about being able to believe in yourself and achieve your goals in life.

3. DEAR LIFE…The second single goes back into more familiar power ballad territory for Goodrem. She’s in Celine Dion mode here with the focus on her incredible vocal range, gorgeous string arrangements and melodic piano sections. Lyrically there are strong themes of empowerment and a positive way of looking at life (I’m a survivor. Sometimes it hurts you. Maybe it’s a lesson learned. To bring my feet back to this Earth. To find what’s real).

4. JUST CALL…Delta thrusts herself into rhythmic territory on this track with stunning backing vocals which sound almost tribal. It’s really promising to see her experimenting with her sound without abandoning her solid piano arrangements and sharp songwriting ability.

5. IN THE NAME OF LOVE…A mid-tempo dance pop track which focuses on engaging backing vocals during the chorus and a simple piano chord with an underlying electronic beat. Lyrically it’s about standing up for yourself and finding inner peace (I’m standing on my feet, saying how I feel. Fighting here for everything that’s real).

6. ENOUGH (FEATURING GIZZLE)…The latest single to be released from the album is the most musically diverse and powerful track overall. It flips the idea of a “guest rapper” on it’s head with Gizzle rapping on the verses instead of being given a couple of lines. It’s a risk that works surprisingly well and the two balance each other out. Lyrically it’s about being satisfied with yourself through self worth and self esteem (I just want to give my all, the rise and fall, the works).

7. HEAVY…This is easily the biggest power ballad on this album and my favourite track by far. It starts simple enough with just Delta’s lovely vocals and her piano. But eventually the track dramatically changes direction with delicate strings, a soft electronic beat and added backing vocals.

The second half of the track is even more interesting as Delta sings at a rapid fire rate, expressing some really personal lyrics in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fashion. Lyrically this is also her most emotional and revealing track (How did it all get so heavy, I used to stand up so tall. There’s only so much I can carry before I fall).

8. ONLY HUMAN…This is a much softer ballad than the previous track which slows the pace of the album down quite considerably. It’s another lyrically deep song about showing vulnerability and admitting that nobody’s perfect (How do you love, when you’re broken. I’ve had enough, I’m only human).

9. THE RIVER…This track has a “Cherry Pie” vibe to it with an anthemic sounding chorus containing punchy keyboards and guitar riffs. It’s a really playful, laid back kind of song with plenty of sing a long moments (I took that loaded gun, forgive what I have done. So preacher take me down, take me down to the river).

10. I’M NOT GIVING UP…Another softer track with a lyrical focus on inner strength and dealing with possible regrets in life. The chorus is quite rhythmic with solid piano chords and wailing backing vocals (But I know I’ve got the strength inside to always rise above. So I’m not giving up).

11. ENCORE…When I first heard this song, it instantly reminded me of Leona Lewis’ Take A Bow which contains very similar metaphors about moving on from an ex-lover and wanting them to leave you alone. Delta’s lyrical delivery is really creativity handled as she drives the song to a strong, fiery chorus (Can’t you see that the curtain is closing. Can’t you see that the show is all over, confetti all over the floor).

12. HOLD ON…Going back into explosive electronic territory on this track, Delta experiments with several vocal styles here as she wails in and out of the rhythmic dance beats. Lyrically it’s about recognising how support from friends can help you deal with stresses in life (When everything was getting harder, you gave me your heart. When I was letting go, you taught me how to fight).

13. I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE…Delta closes the album with this beautiful piano -led cover of The Darkness’ I Believe in a Thing Called Love. It may seem like an unlikely choice for her but she really pulls it off well. Nothing sounds forced as the string arrangements and melodies only serve to highlight her wonderful vocal delivery.

You can purchase a copy of Delta’s new album Wings of the Wild from the following sites:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/w…

JB Hifi: https://www.jbhifi.com.au/music/bro…

Music video for “Wings”…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1A…

Music video for “Dear Life”…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wP…

Music video for “Enough”…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFs…

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