Review and Interview: "Eleven" - Tina Arena

by David Spencer,

Best known for the 1990's power ballad Chains, Tina Arena has had an interesting career, with some twist and turns away from the pop industry. In 2013, she returned with Reset, a title that overtly referred to a change in her mindset. It was her first recording of new material in English (she's recorded several French language albums) for twelve years. Eleven comes around more quickly then, indicating a return to confidence for the Australian singer and the music matches that re discovered desire.

Arena says that Eleven is an important number to her, astrologers call it a master-number. It's her birth date and coincidentally this is her 11th studio album, so the stars have aligned to make this a special record. And to some degree it is special. Opening with the power-balled Unravel Me, it suggests there's a focus to her writing now, with a willingness to embrace the ingredients that worked for her in the 1990s. Unravel Me is written with Evermore frontman John Hume and is a perfect slice of dramatic power-pop.

It's the type of song that was bread and butter for the likes of Celine Dion in her chart heyday, but don't let that put you off. I Want To Love You has the same DNA and is also written by Hume, while there are some further nods to twenty years ago (or more) with the more upbeat Magic and the terrific 80's referencing Overload. Tender moments are sprinkled across the eleven tracks too, with Lie In It the best, while Karma has more of the experimentation that was heard on Reset two years ago. It's ever so bonkers, but so much better for it. Arena says Eleven is a step up from Reset and she's right. Her voice is still a fantastic pop weapon and here she is armed with some great pop songs to exploit.

Here Tina talks to Music-News about how the industry has changed since she launched her career on the talent show Young Talent Time in the 1970's. She also has strong opinions about filming at her gigs!

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