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The Curse of Lengthy Gaps Between Albums- Overall a decent album but not that special sadly
on 17 September 2013
I Loved Diana's debut album. It was a really solid album that sold a healthy 500+ k in the UK. But after ONCE , she struggled to find a single that captured the public / radio which was a shame as the album had stellar tracks.
Her career has been frustrating to watch over the last few years. Like a lot of artists these days, she has suffered an unhealthily long gap between this and her last album. But the music industry overall is really struggling to adapt to the constant changes. Diana would obviously have benefited from having her album out sooner. Labels just seem to be so nervy and reluctant to truly invest in artists now. Look at heavyweights like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey who both have delayed and delayed their albums. Rush releasing stuff that isn't right isn't good either but surely there is a happy medium.
A gap like this isn't good for many reasons. Diana initially said she wanted to get a second album out quickly. Her differences with RCA that led to her parting with them and the delay hasn't been good as she has spent so long shopping a new deal. Her profile has slipped hugely and she is now long forgotten by the public at large.
But the real problem here is that Diana hasn't delivered the amazingly good album that I would have hoped. Sure, it has its moments and it's good in places but it all feels very half heartedly put together.
Cinderella never was a lead single. It is catchy in parts but it just doesn't grab you like Once did.
The fact that she titled the album Music to Make Boys Cry and chose a track she gave away free nearly two years ago as her second single and the lead-in single to the album launch is very telling. The goods aren't totally here. I don't hear much difference between this version and the demo that was given free in 2011 and I don't think it is strong enough for single potential either.
I don't think the album works as a body of work . Diana described it as all 80's and stuff. Yes the first two tracks and tracks like Boy In Paris and Mad at Me sound very 80's-like but tracks like Dead Heat and Lightning Strikes sound very contemporary and have no 80's-esque elements in my opinion. It just doesn't all work. None of the tracks are seriously stand out to warrant single material. The stand out moment is the great Mad at Me. It is such a great song but I can't see radio taking to it. It actually sounds too 80's if that makes sense at all to work on radio right now.
Mr. Postman is god awful and wouldn't have made her debut album. Cheese personified me thinks.
The rest are fine and are fun but they kinda float over you.
I love Diana and her voice but I just think this album was a bit of a messed up project. It doesn't work or flow well. Single material is sorely absent . I also think her unique voice shines more away from the electronic dance music stuff. I'd love to see more live instrument based music from her to be honest. I heard she was working with John Shanks and some of the early material from this album's making (Colours etc) kinda suggested she was going in that direction. She left RCA because they were pushing her to make poppy music and she didn't want to but it kinda feels she left them, then made the sort of album they were looking for . Perplexing
I don't mean to be scathing but I am disappointed. Her voice shines through on the acoustic tracks on the deluxe edition. This pseudo 80's dance stuff just hasn't come off as well as I would have hoped and I feel she kind of is struggling to find her niche and identity. Still a decent enough album - just nothing really special to me sadly and I cant see it getting much public attention. The material is fine but nothing to get excited about and that is sad because I feel she should be far more successful than she has been .