I downloaded Natalie Imbruglia’s new album Male last month as soon as it became available. I’ve been waiting for some new music from her for a while now, six years to be exact. When I heard that Male was Natalie singing the songs of male singers, I was amused by the idea (so far I’ve only had one other diva do such an album, Tori Amos’ Strange Little Girls in 2001) but a little disappointed with a covers album. In my gay opinion, the world can do without cover albums and greatest hits compilations. Fortunately I’m not a fan of many male singers so almost all the songs on Male are new to me.
I know there are male singers who sing songs written by women but it’s not as celebrated. Has a male artist ever done a cover album of all female musicians? Would that be too unmanly? Too gay? It’s a double standard within the music industry and society in general. It’s ok for a woman to get in touch with her masculine side but not for a man to get in touch with his feminine side. Thankfully on Male, Natalie has no problem feminizing these songs made famous by men and she does it well.
Of the 12 songs (the 13th is a radio edit of “Instant Crush” the lead song on Male…another thing the world can do without is remixes and edits as bonus tracks) the 3 songs on Male that I already knew were “Friday I’m In Love”, “Let My Love Open The Door” and “I Melt With You.” I know the songs but I don’t know the original artists…again they’re men so unless they’re hot and naked, I’m not interested. As for these songs, she definitely gives each one a unique take. Who knew you could add a banjo (at least I think it was a banjo) to “Friday I’m In Love” and it would sound good. There are hints of country music on this album which is a compliment to her soothing pop/ballad voice.
Over all, the album is a great collection of songs that stay true to Natalie’s style of music and fits in well to her repertoire. I don’t know how her versions of the other songs compare to the originals but if she changed them as much as she did the songs I know, then I would assume they’re quite dramatic. For fans of the original songs they might be altered too much but for this fan of Natalie, it’s music to my ears.