Jessica Mauboy is about to return to our screens in season two of Channel 7’s hit drama ‘The Secret Daughter’.
And, as with season one, there’s a soundtrack of songs recorded by the Sony starlet to accompany it.
But what’s the series two soundtrack like? Does it stack up?
With what turned out to be a pretty great TV series, Jessica Mauboy’s involvement in ‘The Secret Daughter’ reminded all of Australia just how talented she truly is.
Back for season two, Jess releases her second collection of songs to be featured in the TV show.
Comprised of mostly covers, there are a couple of original tracks in the form of hit single ‘Fallin’’ and her latest release ‘Then I Met You’ included too. The result is a bit of a mixed bag.
First and foremost, there are far too many covers here. I appreciate it’s how the audience relates to the music in the show and it’s also an opportunity for Jess to reinterpret some different songs, but as a fan of her music it feels like a bit of a lazy way to keep her fans engaged.
Having seen her in concert earlier this year her talent does translate across to pretty much any song she tackles, but her original stuff is high quality Australian pop music.
Having said that, it’s not all bad news.
Covering songs from the likes of The Church, Neil Finn and Aretha Franklin… there are some great song choices on this second volume of tracks from ‘The Secret Daughter’ which are an enjoyable listen.
Nothing new has been done to most of the tracks – most versions are competent but not innovative or particularly memorable. Some of the songs are plagued by some fairly cheap production which just adds to an almost throwaway feel.
A prime example of that is her cover of ‘Break My Stride’. In the final chorus, any opportunity to showcase how amazing of a vocalist she is, is completely drowned out by the backing track. Instead of putting her voice to work with some stunning runs, the chorus is just repeated over and over again and it’s a bit hollow.
The only two new original tunes are both standout tracks thankfully.
We have had the pleasure of ‘Fallin’’ being around for a little while now and it’s still a stunningly beautiful song.
The other original song (‘Then I Met You’) is Jess at her mid-tempo belter best. It’s a fairly straightforward song, but she gets the opportunity to showcase her great upper range.
Of the covers presented, there are some excellent ones; ‘Plans’ with J.R.Reyne feels like a new song. It’s been given the attention it deserves and Jess and J.R. sound brilliant together.
The same can be said for ‘Light Surrounding You’ which suits Jess to a tee.
‘Solid Rock’ is a really interesting proposition too. We know Jess can sing the phone book and sound amazing and this rocky tune really suits her. It’s a different sound but brings out some amazing qualities in her voice.
Finally, Jess’s interpretation of ‘Amazing Grace’ with Dr. G Yunupingu is jawdroppingly beautiful.
Overall this is a TV series tie-in soundtrack and isn’t going to light up the ARIA nominations list. There are some great tracks and real highlights which I would recommend focusing on.
For some of the other tunes, however, I’d give them a pass.
I remain hopeful for a collection of her original music in the new year to continue to demonstrate why she’s one of Australia’s best artists.
VERDICT : 3/5.
MUST LISTEN : Then I Met You, Plans, Light Surrounding You.