As regular readers of my reviews will know, I am not a fan of the cover album. Often the tracklisting is uninspired and arrangements have been done on the cheap.
Delta Goodrem’s new release ‘I Honestly Love You’ is being treated as more of a mini-series tie-in or soundtrack rather than a covers album. It’s also featuring the works of one of Australia’s most beloved artists, Olivia Newton-John. But does that make this any more interesting?
In short – not really. The songs chosen from Olivia Newton-John’s back catalogue are interesting and varied from across her career, likely to tie in with the plot line of the mini-series Delta stars in as Olivia.
Listening through the songs, nothing is overly groundbreaking, but the covers do feel like they have had some attention paid to them. That being said, the music hasn’t been drastically changed from the original.
‘Physical’ still fees as risqué as it likely did back in the ’80s, but compared to some of the lyrical content of today, it’s pretty tame. The updated version feels respectful of the original but somehow feels relevant and modern.
If you’ve seen stills from the mini-series in relation to this song, Delta is a dead ringer for Olivia at that time.
A confusing one for me is ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’, but it’s only confusing because it’s not an original of Olivia’s but a cover of Dionne Warwick’s original, written by ballad-writing powerhouse Burt Bacharach.
If you’re keeping tabs, this is a cover of a cover of a cover.
That aside, it lets Delta’s voice fly and because it’s such an amazing song, it’s one of the highlights on this album. It’s amazing what a well-written song can do regardless of who performs it, but for me doesn’t feel like an Olivia Newton-John song (Cilla Black’s version is the most recognised generally).
The other quality tunes here are the duets with Olivia Newton-John. We will never know whether the tabloid gossip is true or not, but it’s undeniable that these two ladies connect musically when they have the chance to sing together.
I’m glad to see them collaborating because it creates some really great moments that are sorely needed. ‘Love Is A Gift’ features some great harmonies and you can tell Olivia still has that special something when she performs.
For what it is, ‘I Honestly Love You’ is a decent enough release and I’m always excited for Delta to release new music. It’s also an opportunity to take a look at Olivia Newton-John’s music from a different perspective.
I’m hopeful that more new music later this year might be influenced by the groundbreaking career of Olivia and add a little sparkle to Delta’s collection of music.
If you are a fan of Delta or Olivia, it’s worth giving this one a listen.
VERDICT : 3/5.
MUST LISTEN : Physical, Anyone Who Had A Heart, Love Is A Gift.