Finally, at long last, Natalia Kills’ new album Trouble is on the horizon! I’ve just had an advance listen to the album and my oh my did Natalia revamp her sound. I always find it a bit difficult to review music from one of my favorite artists, so I’ll do my best to not spontaneously fanboy during this one. Before giving this album a listen I definitely lowered my expectations a bit. While I absolutely loved Kills’ first album Perfectionist, it was not without its flaws. Perfectionist, while still a great album, suffered a bit from Natalia trying a little too hard to convey her dark pop princess image and falling a bit flat. So when I heard Trouble was up that same alley, I got a bit worried. Thankfully, though, my concerns have been vanquished. Let’s break it down, shall we?
The album opens with Television, which has about a minute and a half intro sewn into it that really sets the tone for the album. It’s a dark, dramatic intro that would fit seamlessly into a movie trailer (it’s a good thing). The track kicks it into high gear with some banging drums and a slick guitar riff. Television is a superb opening track; it’s got a fun, driving beat and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Since we’ve all heard Problem and we all love it (right?), I won’t spend time talking about it, other than to say that it fits nicely as the second song on the album. Stop Me, the third track, is by far my favorite track on the album. It’s a sleek, sexy track that pounds along with some amazing drums (imagine Natalia reworking Superficial from Perfectionist and making it about 5 times better). With lyrics like “I put my high heels on so I’m closer to God,” how could you possibly go wrong? It’s simply a perfect song.
Trouble continues on with Boys Don’t Cry, which is a fun bopper of a song laced with some sexy guitar (pop music needs more guitars). While I wouldn’t necessarily call it a highlight of the album, it chugs along with a fun, lighthearted energy, which is pretty infectious. Daddy’s Girl, the next track, is probably the happiest sounding song on the album. While the lyrics aren’t exactly happy, bubblegum pop (this is Natalia Kills, after all…), the song’s chorus sounds like it was pulled from an R-rated Disney cartoon (again, it’s a good thing). Ultimately, it’s a super fun song that will definitely have you dancing. We all already know how wonderful Saturday Night is, so I don’t need to expand upon it. It’s one of the best song’s she’s ever made, and that’s that.
The album slows down a bit with Devils Don’t Fly, a slow, emotional, electro track with a chilling chorus and haunting lyrics. It’s without a doubt one of the deeper, more serious tracks on the album and definitely a standout track. Outta Time follows next, but it ultimately just feels like a filler song with a 50s vibe. It certainly isn’t bad, and Natalia shows off her vocal range nicely, but the song just fails to really take off. Although it’s been out for a while, I still can’t say enough good things about Controversy. It’s a prime, pounding, provokative, piece of pop, and quite frankly it should have been a single. And while it’s a fun reference, I could have done without all the yelling about Kool-Aid.
Rabbit Hole is probably the dirtiest, most fun song on Trouble and I can’t get enough of it. It’s almost as if Natalia challenged herself to write the dirtiest, most Ke$ha-like lyrics she could (and don’t let that comparison scare you away!). Mix all that in with a little glitch music and a fun dance beat and you’ve got one hell of a track! Watching You is a decent track with a chorus that once again shows off Natalia’s vocal range, but it ultimately sounds like a cut from Perfectionist. Marlboro Lights, the only actual ballad on the album, is an absolute homerun. It’s a stripped down piano song and Natalia is at her most vulnerable. It’s a touching song that reminds you just how beautiful her voice is. More ballads please, Natalia. Trouble, the title track, closes off the album in the best way imaginable. It’s a drum-heavy track with a stadium rock feel to it. The song is about exactly what you think: Ms. Kills telling us that she’s trouble, and it works spectacularly. A great way to finish off a great album.
The best part about Trouble is how authentic Natalia comes across during the whole album. While I thought she tried too hard to get her bad girl image across on Perfectionist, she absolutely hit it out of the park with Trouble. If you’re like me and had your share of reservations about the album, feel free to take a deep breath and relax, because Trouble is a phenomenal album that truly deserves to be at the top of the charts. So get ready, kids! Trouble is coming on September 3rd and it’s taking no prisoners!