Laura Imbruglia’s third album, What A Treat comes with a gift, a Pozible-funded jigsaw. It proves a funny link between the past and future, a description that’s also applicable to her ten album tracks.

Imbruglia’s music is by her own admission: “Lyric based, depresso pop with regular visits to the jaunty zone”.

On What A Treat, Nat’s little sister emphasises the latter because she’s gone and done a Tegan & Sara. She’s crafted a bouncy, pop record without eschewing her indie roots. Like those Canadian twins, this means the music is like landing face-first into a giant marshmallow before some dark, lyrical undercurrents make you sit up and pause to reflect.

Singles, “Awoooh!” and “Why’d You Have To Kiss Me So Hard?” have already wowed audiences. The first proved a rollicking good time and the opportunity to have a good howl at the moon while the latter boasts the punk attitude and dirty guitars which made her debut so popular.

On the title track and “If I Ever” Imbruglia coos tweely and the country vibe is endearing and annoying, but mostly languid.

Imbruglia is at her best when she’s showcasing her versatility, like in some stomping, 12-bar blues or the melodic, piano-slamming ditty “Straight To The Bar”, which has quirk and lyricism in spades and would make Darren Hanlon proud.

What A Treat is an honest and evocative record that gets you nostalgic for the past and quietly confident about the future. Imbruglia’s tales of unrequited love and poor decisions are relatable and she’s at her best when she rounds those musical bases.

Originally published on 28 June 2013 at the following website:

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