Natalie Imbruglia has parted ways so radically from the sounds of Torn, her breakthrough debut single, that it’s no use expecting another Torn from her. Torn isn’t her favorite kind of music anyway. Counting Down the Days, her latest CD, is actually her most intimate, most mature, and most enjoyable one to date.
It is hard to label the songs on this CD other than calling them “catchy”. There are times when she sounds dangerously very similar to Hilary Duff in Sanctuary – the verse can seamlessly morph into the chorus of Wake Up, I tell you – but with poignant ballads like the mesmerizing When You’re Sleeping and I Won’t Be Lost as well as the guitar-soaked summer singalongs Perfectly and Starting Today there is much to enjoy here. The sole oddity is Honeycombe Child, which is surreal and hypnotic with New-Age aspirations. It’s still fabulous though. The weakest track here is the generic and uninteresting Shiver, which has me wondering how it ended up being the lead single from this CD.
Since Natalie Imbruglia keeps getting compared to Kylie Minogue even if the only thing similar about them is the fact that they were both actresses on that soap opera Neighbours once upon a time, maybe it is okay if I say that Counting Down the Days is Natalie Imbruglia’s The Impossible Princess. It is filled with brilliant tracks one would never expect from her, with intimate lyrics that reflected the events in her life that touched her deeply, and doomed to be her most underappreciated work to date.