Rule number one for newcomers in the pop world is to keep feeding the fans with new material until you build a strong platform of a fan base.

However, that hasn’t been the case for Australian songstress Natalie Imbruglia, who burst out with her hit “Torn” and faded gradually, then vanished into studio-oblivion for four years ? the only artists who can pull that off are greats such as Madonna and Michael Jackson.

“White Lilies Island” is the ex-soap star’s sophomoric effort that falls prey to the slump.

The album starts out with ambition with “That Day,” a fast-paced over-worded rock song that is the international first single (for some reason it was not released to radio in the United States). Then comes a sweet grower “Beauty On The Fire.”

Imbruglia then leaves her edgy opening to the album with “Satellite” a delightfully crafted morning lullaby ? the highlight of “White Lilies Island.”

Then comes the downfall. “Do You Love” is a redundant melancholy number and “Goodbye” is not very different, hence the repetitive sound of the album.

“Hurricane” has lyrics that sound more like a poem and are not well attached to the melody it was given.

“Wrong Impression” is the first US single from this album.

It sounds a lot like “Wishing I Was There” from Imbruglia’s “Left Of The Middle.”

“Wrong Impression” is a high-energy rock tune that serves as a savior for the second half of the album.

Imbruglia is not quite Alanis Morissette when it comes to strong, vivid lyrical ability.

Nor is she Sarah McLachlan when it comes to beautiful melody.

She somehow has a distinct taste, however.

Her image is not too edgy and her rock is not too heavy.

She provides a certain needed genre in music, in the same category as U2.

The music can be bland at times but there is an audience out there for mainstream rock-folk.

“Sunlight” has a Brit-rock feeling to it, but is in no shape to be released.

Imbruglia wrote all of the songs on “White Lilies Island.” Her talent shines in “Talk In Tongues” and the beautiful closer “Come September.”

Her four-year absence will hurt this album. However, “Wrong Impression” is on Billboard’s “Bubbling Under” chart and is getting a lot of airplay on radio.

Her VH-1 appeal will help her make this somewhat difficult comeback.

This album is weaker than “Left Of The Middle,” which was her first release.

Moreover, it doesn’t have as many ready-singles. This long-player will only be appreciated by fans, but lacks the oomph to be a substantial record.

Al-Qatami can be reached at

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