natalie imbruglia maleWhere has she been since the Nineties? Aussie singer Natalie Imbruglia had a huge hit in that decade with the song “Torn” and then she seemed to disappear from the music landscape. Well, she has released a couple of albums, did some theatre and starred in a film or two, but nothing like the success she had in the late Nineties. Now, after having changed record labels a few times over the years and even starting one of her own she has signed with Sony and released her fifth album. Male is her first album since 2009’s Come to Life and is filled with covers of songs by male artists. Songs by artists like Tom Petty, Neil Young, Pete Townsend, Death Cab for Cutie and Daft Punk fill out the twelve song roster. It turns out that the songs you least expected her to select like the Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love”, Iron and Wine’s “Naked As We Came” and Daft Punk’s “Instant Crush” turn out the best. Though admittedly “Friday I’m in Love” given the country/hillbilly treatment is very odd. Yet somehow it works. The best thing Natalie Imbruglia has going for her is that unique voice of hers. It is filled with the right amount of ache and charm. The stripped back arrangement to most songs really suits her delicate voice allowing it to work its magic on the listener. Don’t get me wrong, this is not the best thing since sliced bread, but it is a reminder that the music world is better with Natalie Imbruglia in it.