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Counting Down the Days was the third studio album released by singer Natalie Imbruglia, back in 2005. Following closely on the heels of her second album White Lilies Island, it further develops the musical style showcased on that album, being full of dreamy guitar pop rather than the indie-pop showcased in her debut Left of the Middle.
Opening track Starting Today is a good beginning to the album, being an optimistic breezy slice of pop. Single Shiver follows in largely the same vein, with a catchy chorus. Satisfied is a pretty pop song, while title track and single Counting Down the Days is one of the best songs on the album, a lovely summery track.
I Won't Be Lost and Slow Down are nice pop songs, the latter, as the name suggests, a slower song than much of the rest of the album. Sanctuary makes use of sirens in an interesting song, while Perfectly is another light, upbeat track.
On the Run is one of my favourite songs on the album: it's sadder and melancholic than most of the other songs, and is also more stripped down, with just a piano present as a backing track for much of the song.
Come on Home is a sweeping ballad while When You're Sleeping is a slow, simple ballad backed with guitars and strings. Closing track Honeycomb Child is lovely and different, with gentle lullaby-esque sounds and gospel-like vocals in parts.
1. Starting Today
4. Counting Down the Days
5. I Won't Be Lost
6. Slow Down
9. On the Run
10. Come on Home
11. When You're Sleeping
12. Honeycomb Child
I do like Counting Down the Days and I think it's a good album. However, in my opinion it lacks the bite of Left of the Middle and White Lilies Island and hasn't nearly as much as variety, consisting mainly of light poppy tracks. These are very pleasant to listen to but I would have preferred some rockier tracks, such as Big Mistake, Torn and That Day. I'm going to give this album four stars out of five.
Recently, whilst going through my generic MP3 player and having a bit of a sort out (or purge) I came across this little gem of an album; the third from ex-Neighbours star Natalie Inbruglia and easily her strongest offering to date. Listening again to this album for the first time in ages, I remembered why I'd kept this on my MP3 but was mystified as to why I hadn't played it in awhile. I'm guessing it's just one of those albums that tends to get forgotten about and passed by but that just makes hearing it again feel even more like a guilty pleasure.
Beginning with "Starting Today..." the album gets off to a very strong start with easily one of my favourite songs on the album. This track feels a little wistful and dreamy, is easy on the ear and pretty much brings together all the best elements of Natalie's beautiful vocals. This song is followed by "Shiver" which was released as a single to much praise though its success in the charts was at best only moderate. That said this says more about the state in this modern age of todays chart music than it does about this very strong track which I think worked excellently as a single!
"Satisfied" is the third track and, though an okay little number, is not one of my favourites and is the second most likely song I am likely to skip. It almost feels like a filler album track and that is a bit of a shame as Natalie is so much better than this! Thankfully, things get right back up to speed with "Counting Down The Days", which was also released as a single and is much more upbeat and one of the stronger songs to feature on the album. Another of my favourites, this is another good example of what Natalie's vocals are capable of when gifted with the beautiful lyrics she has become famous for.
"I Won't Be Lost" slows things down again but that is no bad thing. Every album needs its slow numbers and though this is a relatively simple song, it is no less effective when complimented by Natalie's softly spoken vocals. "Slow Down" lifts the pace right back up again just in time for "Sanctuary" which, again whilst not a paticulary strong track, is nonetheless pleasent enough.
The rest of the album follows a very similar pattern but "When You Were Sleeping", the penultimate track, is by far my overall favourite. With a very catchy chorus and more simple but very effective lyrics, this song is everything that is great about Natalie Imbruglia and sums up everything I love about her and this album. This almost feels like it should be the final song on the album but unfortunately this is followed by "Honeycomb Girl" which is the true closer! "Honeycomb Girl" is the song I am most likely to skip over and almost feels a little tacked on the end. As a B-side, no doubt it probably works but something about it just doesn't gel as an album track. Still if this the weakest moment of the album then that isn't a bad thing because the rest of this Cd is a real pleasure to listen to.
Easy-going but extremely unoffensive, this is one of those albums that all Natalie Imbruglia fans really should own! I saw her live at Norwich UEA when she was promoting this album and it was an experience I shall never forget! Natalie comes over as a little shy, a little timid when performing on the big stage and this is an image enhanced by this album. Listening to this feels at times like going on a very personal journey and you can just tell from listening carefully to the lyricss on this album that Natalie has put a lot of personal experience, emotions and memories into many of the tracks on this album. And I think that is perhaps why it works so well and why discovering this again has been such a pleasure for me. One thing is for certain, I won't be leaving it so long before I listen to it again! I may even dig out her first break-through album again because listening to this makes me want to experience all Natalie's back-catalogue all over again!
Recently i have found myself listening to Natalie Imbruglia as you will see from my recent reviews. This is a review of her third album that came out in 2005, on the back of a song called Shiver that was one of the most played tracks on radio that specific year. This album went to number 1 which was amazing although it did drop out of the chart twice as fast as it went in, it was out of the top 40 in a matter of weeks is a great example.
This album is generally more mature and serious sounding than her previous efforts. This album it seems had a clear cut vision and it isn't all over the place, it's a cohesive piece of work and the songs blend and flow very well with each other. Vocally, Natalie Imbruglia on songs like Run and Starting Today she owes off better vocals and a much improved vocal range. This album is cowritten in parts by Eg White, writer of Will Young's Leave Right Now and James Morrison's You Give Me Something.
The album starts off more than perfectly, Starting Today is brilliant. It has a slight odd structure but Natalie really lets rip at the end which is good and the chorus is really nice and it really is a brilliant representation of the rest of the album. Shiver is a radio friendly song that everyone can appeal to - it is lyrically meaningful, well written and sang. The verses ironically in this song are the best part, i like the beginning and the middle 8 is rather stunning. I though Satisfied was quite a different song to anything i'd heard before, it was like the old Natalie we knew from the first 2 albums had returned. It has a great ffunky chorus that is gentle but has lots of hooks making it appealing.
Second single of the title track of the album track i thought was a mistake to be released. It's well written and has a rather excellent chorus. I Won't Be Lost was meaningful and melochanic at the same time as being rather sad. I enjoyed listened to Slow Down - it was like someone giving you advice, all cuddly and nice. Fab production on that one. Sanctuary is one of my fave tracks on the album, it is sooo summery and different it stands out. What a chorus. How catchy. Great verses. Groovy and different, love it.
Perfectly is commerical and nice and rather pleasant. On The Run, sounds like the soundtrack to a movie. It's mystical and different, perfect for TV cult hit mole revelations for adverts. Come On Home is rocky to me, and different to every song on the album. Stands out hugely. When You're Sleeping, is so nice and melochanic - beautifully and emotionally sang and it really shows on record. Honeycomb Child is a nice song. It has some wierd sound effects which slightly ruins it but its a different ending to the album.
A good third album by an ever better artist. It deserved more than it got and there where many potential singles on the whole album. It's a nice listen to listen to on a Saturday or Friday afternoon for example on your break. It's relaxing, uplifting and enjoyable to listen to. Vastly under-rated as an album and atcually Natalie i think in general is under-rated. This is a better album than it gets credit for.
I can remember about ten years ago collecting "Neighbours" stickers in the playground and Beth Brennan, aka Natalie Imbruglia, being seriously hot property. Whilst us girls were keen to add any character, even the likes of Harold and Lou, to our precious collections, the boys were simply eager to get their hands on the lovely Beth. Ten years later, Natalie's beauty is still a prized commodity, earning the singer/actress/model a fortune (probably) as the face of L'Oreal.
However, beauty is a double-edged sword and what can further an acting/modelling career can also hinder the future of a budding singer, generating the presumption that they are "just a pretty face". Perhaps it was for this reason, in a bid to be taken seriously, that Natalie, before bursting on to the music scene, took the precaution of hacking off her long sleek locks and shipping in a supply of combats and trainers. However, Natalie needn't have worried; she is gorgeous, that's true, but she is, refreshingly, so much more than a pretty face.
Natalie, who has released three albums now to date, can be seen as a rockier, quirkier alternative to Kylie. Sort of Kylie minus the dance routines and glitter. Her sound is undoubtedly pop but it is pop with an edge; a more laid back, natural and simple sound than her fellow Aussie and ex-Neighbour. She is truly blessed and unique being one of the rare TV-turned-pop stars who is genuinely a good actor, a beauty and a talented singer/songwriter. She seems to have a genuine love for music, interest in her career and is, I believe, a force to be reckoned with. So please, I urge you, don't judge Ms Imbruglia on the basis of her fellow ex-soap/popstars, this is not a lady who is riding on her looks or fame, and this brilliant album just proves that.
STARTING TODAY is the first track off this album and one of my favourites. The track is similar in sound to Natalie's debut, 'Torn', beginning with strumming guitars which accompany Natalie's sweet, feminine vocals. The chorus is upbeat and catchy and this is a great track and brilliant start to the album.
SHIVER was Natalie's first single off the album and is a rock/pop guitar-based track with a heartfelt, subdued verse sung in a minor key and a catchy, powerful chorus. The vocals sound very earnest and meaningful and this is a great medium-paced, catchy track full of emotion and with a great backing track.
SATISFIED is one of my favourite tracks on the album. The music is upbeat and powerful with guitars, bass and tinkling pianos and bells. The chorus is very catchy and positive sounding, although the lyrics are lamenting on a stagnant and unsatisfactory relationship - 'I feel a little more than empty/but I wanna feel more than full/It's a pity all I have is just enough to keep you satisfied/this knot could come undone/no matter how we tried to keep it tied'. The track is more poppy and melodic than Natalie's edgier, guitar-based tracks and this is a real feel-good track.
COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS, Natalie's second single off the album, is an emotional and powerful ballad with all the aspects of an amazing ballad perfectly in place; the slow, tuneful verse, the powerful, heartfelt chorus and the dramatic, soaring backing music. The scales in the background nearing the end of the track sound like bells and make the song even sound quite Christmassy. It is an emotive, strong ballad which showcases Natalie's powerful voice.
The fifth track on this album, I WON'T BE LOST, is a simple, moving ballad with wistful, sincere vocals and lyrics - 'fallen three times in a row/waking up with vertigo/but you were there to break my fall/before I had to face it all/don't let me go cause I wouldn't want to move on without you'. It is another haunting, guitar-led track which compliments Natalie's emotive, warm voice.
SLOW DOWN is my least favourite track on the album but that is actually no bad thing as the album is so good that even my least favourite track is worth a listen. Natalie really knows what suits her voice and tends to stick to it, and this is another ballad featuring a moody, earnest verse and guitar backing, yet this time the chorus is a bit weak and doesn't really go anywhere and the track is a little bit repetitive. This is a good track but it is not very memorable. The best thing about it is Natalie's voice which is able to translate a lot of emotion and sincerity in each track. Despite that the tune is quite weak and as this is quite similar to a lot of tracks it shows up as a weaker track in comparison to them.
SANCTUARY is a faster, rockier track than several of the others on the album. It has a unique sound that is distinctive to Natalie and is a strong track. The verses are assertive and strong and the lyrics - 'this town and everyone in it moves a little faster than the underground/no time and time is money feeling like a piece of machinery' - reflect the racing pace and busy backing music of this track. The verses are edgy and the chorus rocky and upbeat and this is a good sing-along, get-stuck-in-your-head kind of track.
PERFECTLY is one of my favourite tracks on the album. It has one of the strongest, catchy choruses on the album and showcases Natalie at her rock-chick best.
ON THE RUN is a moody, dark-sounding, almost depressing song with a delicate piano replacing the now familiar guitars featured in Natalie's other tracks. There is no soaring chorus on this track and no powerful interludes, it is just a simple, delicate and emotional song which expresses a lot of pain and confusion.
COME ON HOME is another subdued and wistful track with gentle, poignant verses and a powerful, edgy chorus accompanied by guitars and pianos. It is a great track with more meaningful, heartfelt lyrics - 'I'm on the run again/and I don't know which way is left/and there's no point in not being right'. Definitely one worthy of a listen.
WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING is probably a track that may be overlooked at first as it is near the end of he album and also quite a gentle track but it is one of my favourite tracks on an amazing album, which says a lot. The track is instrumental to begin with with orchestral music, dominated by violins. Some guitars join in briefly then cut out as Natalie's vocals begin. The verses are accompanied by a single guitar plucking gently in the background before several more join in for a stronger chorus. Natalie's vocals carry off this track perfectly and it is a beautiful and gentle ballad with an amazing chorus. I just love this track so much.
HONEYCOMB CHILD is the last track on this album and while it doesn't exactly bring the album to a powerful or triumphant close it is quite fitting for this unique and heartfelt album to close with this quirky, edgy track. I didn't really like this track on first listen but it is a definite grower. It is a unique ballad with a slightly peculiar feel to it. The track is sombre and subdued with fragile, emotional vocals, unusual lyrics - 'Melting honeycomb/tie my shoelace on my own/that boy laughing/where are your warm hands/to pull me back in and I don't mind you pretending to the others/and I don't mind you protecting all the others' - and gentle, haunting music that sounds like one of those music jewellery boxes with the dancing ballerina. It is a great, delicate sounding track that ends this amazing, original album just perfectly.
1. STARTING TODAY
4. COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS
5. I WON'T BE LOST
6. SLOW DOWN
9. ON THE RUN
10. COME ON HOME
11. WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING
12. HONEYCOMB CHILD
UK SINGLES FEATURED ON ALBUM-
COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS
TRACKS WRITTEN BY NATALIE- (10 out of 12)
Counting Down The Days
I Won't Be Lost
On The Run
When You're Sleeping
BEST TRACK- Satisfied, Perfectly and When You're Sleeping (I couldn't choose between them!)
WORST TRACK- Slow Down
ALBUM UNIQUE SELLING POINT- The tracks are simple and natural, not over-produced or contrived. Although "simple" in this way they are also very powerful and memorable songs which sound as though a lot of thought, care and skill has gone in to each one. Her sound is honest; she is not trying to imitate anybody, mould in to an ideal or try to keep up with current music trends.
ALBUM SUMMARISED IN ONE WORD- Heartfelt
ARTIST POTENTIAL- Natalie is the ultimate comeback kid, each between-album break has seemed to stretch longer than the last before she has sprung back in to action with a new single. Her fame has exceeded what is traditionally expected of soap singers and I believe and hope that Natalie can have a long singing career if that's what she chooses.
SCORE OUT OF 10 FOR
MUSIC/BACKING TRACKS- 10
VARIATION IN TRACKS- 8
OVERALL ALBUM- 10
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Starting Today
4 Counting Down The Days
5 I Wont Be Lost
6 Slow Down
9 On The Run
10 Come On Home
11 When Youre Sleeping
12 Honeycomb Child