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  • Cy White

Natalie Imbruglia: Firebird

This is another case of me not keeping up with an artist after first hearing them. Natalie Imbruglia was a staple of female-empowered pop in the '90s. Her vulnerability and earnestness was relatable even for someone like me whose age was still in the single digits when her first hit topped the charts.

That being said, it doesn't surprise me that Firebird carries on that legacy. Extreme vulnerability wrapped in relatable, honest lyrics. Track "Just Like Old Times" has the same ring of track "Torn." But there's a greater sense of, not resignation so much as acceptance. But there's still this yearning. Knowing that you're finally fine without the one you lost, but still wondering in the back of your mind (after nights of drinking alone, speaking to strangers while imagining you're speaking to your lost love) if they still think of you fondly. Still think about you when they're talking to people they don't know. It's almost tragic, but it's not sensational.

We all have those moments of humanness where we have to pull ourselves back together after another night of thinking about the one that got away. That doesn't make it any less heart-wrenching. It's this deep humanity that makes Firebird such a powerful piece of music, keeps Imbruglia such an iconic figure of a decade long gone but impossible to forget.

We are all figuring out who we are still. Still finding ourselves to really give ourselves the freedom we need to fly higher than we could've ever imagined ("Find myself to lose myself again," "Human Touch"). With this album, Natalie Imbruglia has done the human work many are too afraid to. Simple vocals anchored by beautiful songwriting and composition.

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