RATHER than call her third album Delta, Goodrem could have called it Celine because the Canadian superstar, whom Delta reveres, could have sung at least eight of the album's 12 tracks.
Yes, Goodrem makes plenty of appearances, but Dion's influence on her vocal style and choice of song is unmistakable, particularly if, like Delta, you're a true Dion fan. (A recent birthday treat, courtesy of boyfriend, Irish singer Brian McFadden, was a trip to Las Vegas to see Dion perform).
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But this album is still very much Goodrem's baby and is more a case of similar styles than undiluted mimicry. So similar, in fact, that Dion recently chose a song written by Goodrem to feature on her new album, Taking Chances, released November 10.
Importantly, few singers could have pulled this off because, as with Goodrem's past offerings, album No.3 is not a typical, eminently forgettable soap-star-turned-Top-40-poppet offering. Not only can she cut it, but her voice is powerful and flexible enough to achieve something close to Dion's signature five-octave vocal acrobatics.
Goodrem proves she is a talented lyricist and skilled musician – and it shines through in this, her most accomplished and enjoyable release yet.
Delta wrote – or assisted on – most of the songs, so, rather than dishing up a predictable mix of love-is-lost, love-is-found tunes, she offers a refreshing combination of topics and musical styles, and flits between power ballad, boppy pop and slow, sweet and sentimental.
As do good songwriters, Goodrem draws from experience and sticks to what she knows, from the catchy and poignant Brave Face, an ode to keeping up appearances in public, to one of the album's best, God Laughs, about her parents' divorce and the need to soldier on no matter what.
Believe Again is a lovely, soaring Dionesque ode to overcoming life's obstacles, while In This Life, which debuted at No.1, is typically rich and catchy Delta and was co-written by McFadden and US hitmaker John Shanks.
Delta is light and happy, sweet and summery. Just lovely.
Album title: Delta
Artist: Delta Goodrem
Label: (Sony BMG)