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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 24 February 2017
As much as I love Ms. Imbruglia, it had been several years since I'd listened to any of her albums. What a big mistake!

I bought this album recently to put in my collection because I'd only bought the singles originally.

This album reminds me of Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill in that it's got some bite to it, but also in that the whole album is excellent, and really is one of my favourite solo artist albums.
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on 29 July 2017
Had this on cassette when first released. Upgraded to cd just to transfer to ipod. Extremely underrated album in my opinion. All songs are excellent. One of my top albums.
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on 6 August 2017
Great quality of sound!!!!!
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on 14 March 2017
everything was great except there's some scratch on the cd's box.
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on 9 November 2003
This is a good album - a very good album from Australia's Neighbours actress. Although the best song on the whole is "Torn", there are enough other good tracks to make buying this one a pleasure. Track by track review:
#01 TORN> One of my all time favorite songs. It's very sweet and very uplifting. But don't listen it too often! Too bad it's the first song on this album. Nevertheless: 10/10
#02 ONE MORE ADDICTION> The second track on the album is most of the time very catchy and qualified for a single, but One More Addiction certainly isn't. It's worth a couple of listens - but don't expect too much of it. 5/10
#03 BIG MISTAKE> A very powerful song with a strong chorus. I think it has some of the best lyrics on this album. Certainly a favorite. 9/10
#04 LEAVE ME ALONE> Classy, sweet, city. It's nice but not too remarkable among the other songs. 7/10
#05 WISHING I WAS THERE> This one is so great! It has a quite happy tone, compared to the other songs here. It doesn't grow old even if you listen it 1000x a day. 10/10
#06 SMOKE> This is the album's summit. What appears to be a lousy ballad turns out to be a wonderful, yet powerful song, a kind that is very rare these (21st century) days. "You're hiding underneath the smoke in the room." Does it get better than this? 10/10
#07 PIGEONS AND CRUMBS> Another ballad, and, though it is not as great as Smoke, it still has that emotional value that you don't want to miss. 8/10
#08 DON'T YOU THINK?> There is nothing to say about this song. It's very normal, quite catchy, just good. Nice to listen to, sometimes. 7/10
#09 IMPRESSED> This song really "attacks" you on your first listening. It's really good when you need a huge up-tempo song. 8/10
#10 INTUITION> Not bad, not good, it's in the middle ;-). It reminds me a bit of Don't You Think. 7/10
#11 CITY> This is again a very good song, mainly because of it's striking chorus. Natalie runs away from the city. 9/10
...and then five minutes later, there was this hidden track (unless it's presence on the tracklisting):
#12 LEFT OF THE MIDDLE> Peace and tranquility on this final track. It's a grower, until you become hooked to it's mediocre chorus. 8/10
Average: 8/10. Although the singles are the best tracks, this album certainly has more to offer. Now it's up to you if you'll buy it. Give Natalie a chance! I hope I have helped you make a decision.
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on 27 January 2001
In 1997 Natalie Imbruglia burst onto radio stations and tv shows with "that song". "Torn" was one of the biggest selling singles of that year, and even won Natalie the best video award at the brits. The break-up anthem was just a taste of the energy and strong vocal chords Natalie has to offer. Left of the middle introduces us to a unique blend of music styles, from the more "pop" song, Torn, to the haunting ballad of "Smoke" and the upbeat "Impressed". Describing Left of the middle as "Where she was at the time" and "Meaning it has no balanced" Natalie made an album that came purely from the heart. Writing 10 of the twelve tracks, Natalie wanted to make her album exactly that, HERS. None manufactured, just a part of her. A part you can either love or hate. She didn't want to be going to producers and asking "I want this done" she said "teach me". Learning production skills and writing skills Natalie set out to conquer the music market, and, is exactly what she done. Left of The Middle reached 6X platinum in her homeland of Australia, and furthered into greater figures across Europe, and smashing a top ten mark in the US. The songs themselves tell stories of Natalies life and thoughts...."Torn", "One more addiction", "Big Mistake", "Impressed" and "Leave me alone" show relationships at their climax, and Pigeons and the crumbs is a great orchestral of emotion about life in London. Along with "City". Left Of the Middle includes her top 2 hits, Torn, Big mistake and smoke and her top 20 hit Wishing I was there. Each having a different impact and sound. Vocally, there is none other. Slamming her music rivals such as Kylie Minogue, and Alanis Morrisette, she's set to make a style of her own, a style which captures the heart. A brilliant album with incrediable emotion poured into it. An excellant buy.
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on 6 June 2011
When this album came out in 1997, no-one expected much of Natalie Imbruglia. Casually dismissed as yet another ex-Neighbour looking to conquer the charts, being arguably one of the most beautiful women on the planet probably did her more harm than good in a post-Alanis Morissette era when even Kylie couldn't get arrested. Even now, the suspicion remains widespread that any success she's had must be down to her dazzling looks, rather than any musical talent.

'Torn' - the best-known track here - was a hugely successful single and deservedly so, but it remains her biggest hit, casting a long shadow over both the rest of the album and everything she's done since. This is a shame because for a debut offering, 'Left Of The Middle' is both assured and remarkably eclectic, ranging from the radio-friendly rock of 'Wishing I Was There' and 'Don't You Think' to the gently jazzy 'Leave Me Alone', a song that sounds like it could have been on the Sneaker Pimps' first album the previous year.

Right in the middle (!) of all this sit a brace of impeccable ballads: the dramatic 'Smoke' with its dark lyric and soaring chorus, followed by the elegantly understated 'Pigeons and Crumbs'. Your average R&B diva could learn much from these two songs about how to sing a tune without strangling it - and Ablisa (Google them) really should be forced to listen to them both for a whole week before ever being allowed near microphones again.

Perhaps inevitably, there are moments when the Morissette influence is a little too obvious - 'One More Addiction' and especially 'Intuition' sound blatantly contrived - but as redeeming closers go, you'd struggle to find anything better than the title track: a wonderfully intimate vocal from Imbruglia, with just a sympathetically-strummed guitar for company. Listening to this, along with the acoustic version of 'Torn' that's floating around on YouTube, one can't help wishing she'd followed a rootsier path, rather than trying to keep up with the Minogues.

Still, 'Left Of The Middle' remains an album full of surprises for those who have Imbruglia pegged as just a one-hit wonder with a pretty face. After all, there's no law that says good looks and talent are always mutually exclusive - some people are just incredibly fortunate. But who cares when they can sing like this?
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on 7 January 2004
Often overlooked as another pop debut album, this is easily one of the best albums to creep out of the 90's. Natalie Imbruglia manages to fuse uplifting light hearted pop with more emotional and focused instrumentals with an indie feel. A mix of tracks ranging from more grungey rock and indie to emotional ballads makes this easy too listen too and appealing to all.
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on 20 January 2013
Before I popped the CD of "Left Of The Middle" -the 1997 debut album from Natalie Imbruglia- into my computer, I had my predictions on what was gonna go into my ears. I was expecting most of the songs to be elegant light-hearted pop. As a grown man I shouldn't be into that sort of stuff, but hey. I don't call myself the "90's Guy" for nothing! I like a lot of 90's music. But when I listened to the album from start to finish, I found a lot of the songs to have more of a rock sound (at times edgy) with some emotionally uncomfortable lyrics.

It was surprising at first, but after thinking about it for a while I realized it shouldn't have been. Kylie Minogue had been through the Australian-soapstar-turned-singer mill about a decade earlier, and became popular for her string of energetic and catchy (if somewhat cheesy from some POVs) pop music. If Natalie had gone in that direction she probably would've been seen as nothing more than a Kylie wannabe. So credit is due for trying something a little different.

But in terms of lyrical content she could've done with being a little more upbeat. The stories in the songs are quite negative. TORN and BIG MISTAKE are clearly break-up songs; and on a side note I mentioned in a 4hits review on Natalie's music once that "I think it's meant to be a breakup song." referring to TORN. It is...and I'm sorry for being surprisingly and ridiculously slow. Elsewhere ONE MORE ADDICTION is about having an addiction and knowing that it should be done away with; PIGEONS AND CRUMBS, in addition to being rather drawn out, is about not being special and pretty much being lost in the shuffle; while SMOKE sounds like the story of a person's troubled childhood. Judging by the frequent use of the word "bleeding" it sounds like it was very troubled. All these stories are quite depressing and at times they make it difficult to enjoy the songs' instrument usage.

However if you don't care much for the lyrical meanings and would rather ignore my views on them, then there's a lot of interesting sounds in the songs to keep you satisfied. In TORN the acoustic guitar (particularly at the beginning) makes the song elegant, yet the drumbeat makes it strong and uplifting at the same time. Clearly my favourite piece, which is not too surprising given that this is Natalie's most famous bit of work.

Elsewhere, ONE MORE ADDICTION and BIG MISTAKE are pretty good rock tunes. They make you wanna jump out of your chair and pretend to play guitar...well I do anyway. WISHING I WAS THERE is not only a lively and enjoyable track, but it also contains the only positive story on the album, that being about a relationship going great and hoping that it stays that way; while IMPRESSED is an oriental-styled dancebeat tune that is, ahem...impressive. Lovely beat and a joy to listen to.

"Left Of The Middle" is by no means perfect, even if its multi-platinum selling status suggests otherwise. However there's plenty of good stuff on this album to make it worth the purchase, especially to those who enjoy 90's music.
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on 1 August 2000
What can I say? The adoreable doll like features of the incredibly photogenic Natalie Imbruglia is not let down by this debut album. This is a class album. From the feelings that come with Torn to the pulses that come with Smoke. This stands out as being one of the most surprisingly good albums in a long, long time. (How many of you knew of her vocal talents that were hidden in Neighbours) Its nice to see that this album has feeling and none of that commercial manufactured nonsense that todays charts are full of.
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