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Delta Goodrem's latest album, 'Child of the Universe' is the fourth offering from Australia's sweetheart. Dormant for five years, Goodrem has been on tour with other singers such as Michael Bolton, featured in ex Brian McFadden's album 'Wall of Soundz' as well as judge 'The Voice', all the while writing for this album.
Sitting by the piano in her signature pose, Delta Goodrem looks stunning and reminds us why we like her.
The album contains fifteen new tracks:
1. Child of the Universe 4.5/5
The opening track and the title track is a powerful anthemic tune but might suffer from overproduction making it slightly too dramatic. That said, it is one of the most powerful tracks on the album which is engrossing and you can lose yourself in this song.
2. Touch 3.5/5
Interesting lyrically but again feels overproduced and Delta's voice has to fight through everything that's going on around it. An upbeat and catchy song.
3. Wish You Were Here 5/5
Delta's third single and one of my favourite tracks of hers EVER, 'Wish You Were Here' is a heartfelt and emotional song about her friend who died. The softness and emotion really makes this song powerful. This is what I wanted the whole album to sound like. Can't stop listening to it- so beautiful.
4. Knocked Out 4/5
A great song with a catchy beginning and it really grows on you the more you listen to it, builds up to a really addictive and pop chorus.
5. Sitting on Top of the World 4.5/5
Lead single off the record, 'Sitting on Top of the World' is a catchy and addictive chart topper (first top 10 since 2007) that just gets you excited and want to jump and dance. A strong and triumphant return!
6. I'm Not Ready 4/5
A soft song and ballad, I'm Not Ready showcases Delta's vocal talent- would sound even better live I think.
7. Hunters and the Wolves 5/5
'Hunters and the Wolves' reveals a new sound and it is an exciting one which I think works really well for Delta- a bit 'Florence and the Machine' sounding which is fresh and really stands out from amongst the other tracks. Just announced as the fourth single-YES-fantastic!
8. Dancing With a Broken Heart 4.5/5
A catchy and upbeat song which stays true to Delta's style, a great transition from her last album to this one. The album version varies to the radio edit- not sure it's better though- sounds again, overproduced.
9. Hypnotized 4/5
A really fun sound permeates through 'Hypnotized', another track which stands out and has a great pop sound.
10. Safe to Believe 3.5/5
Two thirds of the way through the album, 'Safe to Believe' is another powerful ballad with beautifully written lyrics and a piano backing.
11. The Speed of Life 4.5/5
A darker intro precedes this mellow track that builds up to a strong and explosive chorus. The dynamics are also dramatic and is an interesting song exploring life and love. Delta on top form.
12. War on Love 4.5/5
A really catchy song which is modern. The production is just right here- there is a controlled chaos which I love. This is one of the best songs on the album I think.
13. I Lost all love 4 You 3.5/5
A catchy song, but the chorus is slightly 90s pop. Delta sounds a bit drunk in the bridge. Might grow on me :/
14. When my Stars Come Out 3.5/5
That 90s sound continues into this second to last track- not a big fan of this... slightly cheesy 'Hey!'s radiate throughout...
15. Control 4.5/5
Thankfully, the last track on the album changes the tone and 'Control' is a catchy and surprisingly shouty song. There are darker tones which is interesting and I like that about it.
DELUXE TRACKS (ACOUSTIC SESSION):
1. Child of the Universe
3. Wish You Were Here
4. Hunter's and Wolves
5. Safe to Believe
6. Sitting on Top of the World
7. The Speed of Life
9. War on Love
10. Knocked Out
11. Dancing With a Broken Heart
The acoustic sessions on the bonus deluxe disc is good, but would prefer even more new tracks. Some of the songs sound quite similar to the studio version, but some of the ones which stand out a bit more are 'Child of the Universe', 'Hunters and Wolves' and 'War on Love'.
SONGS TO LOVE: Wish You Were Here, Hunters and the Wolves, The Speed of Life, War on Love
SONGS TO SKIP: When My Stars Come Out
A few years ago, this album was described as being a 'stripped back' sound, returning to Delta's musical roots. 'Child of the Universe' sees Goodrem develop her sound further from 'Delta' and feels more like a progression from that sound, though there are a few stripped back tracks such as 'Wish You Were Here'.
What is also to praise is Delta's exploration with new sounds. In 'Hunters and the Wolves', the stand-out track in the whole album, there is a ghostly quality to her voice which is fresh and works in her favour of reinventing herself.
The downside to the album is perhaps the overproduction of some tracks, clouding Delta's naturally talented vocals and compromising simplicity with chaotic backing tracks.
With five years worth of musical writing to choose from, the album cannot contain everything and the choice for the tracklist is mostly decent, though certain B-sides from released singles are shockingly stunning and should've really found a place within 'Child of the Universe', for example, 'Rise' and 'Uncovered'.
Overall, 'Child of the Universe' is powerful and strong album with a range of different sounds, some safe, some experimental. Regardless, there are some stand out tracks to be found within it. The album has been met with positive criticism and the success of the singles released so far reveal that Australia and the rest of the world have not forgotten about Delta Goodrem. Welcome Back, Delta!