Saturday, 26 July 2008

Delta Goodrem

Mistaken Identity

MUSIC has always been there for the good times in Delta Goodrem’s life.

And it was music that was there yet again during the bad times. Indeed, music was one of the main comforts for Delta during the most testing period of her life.

Songs kept whizzing around in her head: melodies, harmonies, lyrics – many deeper and darker than those that helped her debut, Innocent Eyes, find its way into over a million homes – and hearts – in Australia.

Her second album, Mistaken Identity, is the multi-layered product of that well-documented year.

“It’s a more grown up album,” Delta, notes. “My music changed because my life had changed; the whole world around me had changed. My music had to reflect that.”

The childlike fantasies that fuelled Innocent Eyes were replaced by a new and often harsh reality that provided endless fuel for lyrical inspiration.

‘Extraordinary Day’ (July 8) freeze-frames the day Delta was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (“who would have thought when chance came calling that this would be my defining story”), ‘The Analyst’ captures the hours of self-analysis the singer conducted (“trying to make sense of her life, digging round in the dirt, she’s a slave to the work”), ‘Be Strong’ is a rallying call for confidence while ‘Mistaken Identity’ is Delta stating for the record exactly where her head is at.

“There are a lot of lyrics I wouldn’t have used on the first album,” Delta admits.

“In ‘Mistaken Identity’ I sing `I played the role of the nice girl next door who gets cut like a knife’, I mention `emotional suicide’ in Electrical Storm: there’s some intense lyrics in there. It was an intense year. I mean, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t acknowledge what went on; everyone knows what went on. I feel like I know people personally – even though I don’t, but I feel I had to go into depth; get things out of the way, go through the journey and end with ‘You Are My Rock’, which is a thank you song.”

Every note, every lyric and emotion has been placed on the album precisely that way for a reason: plenty of outsiders have told their side of Delta’s story – this is hers.

“There are dark songs on there like ‘Extraordinary Day’, but if I’d brought out an album that was all happy and had only songs about how great life was people would think `What is she talking about?’ It wouldn’t make any sense.

“But while there are some intense tracks on there it’s still a very listenable record. There are some really relaxed songs on there, some motivational songs and there’s some really heart-wrenching music that still makes me cry when they come on. And there’s songs that make you want to get up and dance around. I think there’s a really nice mix. I’m really proud of the record.”

It was a record whose gestation was completely different to Innocent Eyes.

In those days, Delta would film Neighbours from early morning to late at night, then zoom into a studio from 9pm to 4am to get those songs out of her head and onto a CD.

This time around Delta had nothing but time. Her illness and subsequent recovery cleared out a ridiculously busy schedule. She could concentrate on her first love: music.

“This time around I had time to think `What kind of song do I want to create here?’,” Delta says.

“I really felt the sky was the limit with this record, you could do anything in a song. I didn’t feel limited at all. There were a lot more options, a lot more paths I could go down, more directions I could choose. “

One of the key changes in the songwriting personnel was Delta meeting Guy Chambers; the British songwriter/producer behind most of Robbie Williams’ best songs. He’s also worked with everyone from Jewel to Charlotte Church to Andrea Bocelli.

Chambers had been keeping an eye on Delta’s career – impressed with her songwriting skills and heartfelt vocals. The partnership resulted in several of Mistaken Identity’s key tracks – including the No.1 hit ‘Out Of The Blue’.

“'It's really unusual to work with somebody so talented, young, and brave. Who's not scared to take risks and who has the most emotional voice in pop music,” Chambers says. ”You cannot help but believe every word Delta sings.”

“Guy’s such a classy producer,” Delta says. “He was such an inspiration to work with. I felt we had a really good connection on a musical level; he does a lot of classical music as well. We tried to make sure we found a sound together, to find what we could both bring out of each other to create something unique and special. Once we had ‘Out Of The Blue’ we knew we’d found it and we took it from there and wrote ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Electric Storm’.”

Other songwriters Delta co-wrote with include Billy Mann on ‘Mistaken Identity’ and ‘Last Night On Earth’, Cathy Dennis (who co-wrote Innocent Eyes’ Throw It Away) on ‘Sanctuary’, Matthew Gerard (who wrote Delta’s second No.1 Lost Without You) on the emotional ‘Be Strong’, Gary Barlow and Elliot Kennedy (who co-wrote Not Me Not I) and Delta’s close friend Vince Pizzinga (co-author of Innocent Eyes) on ‘Extraordinary Day’.

“This album has more different colours and shades, it’s got more colours of me than the first album did,” Delta says.

It also houses her first duet: (Only) ‘Almost Here’, with former Westlife singer Brian McFadden. “I loved singing that,” Delta says. “It’s a break-up song where we’re talking to each other – the girl’s saying when she’s with him he’s almost there and that’s not enough. I just loved that song. I think it’s a really important element to have on the record.”

Overall, Mistaken Identity is the ultimate statement on the highs – and lows – of the last two years of Delta Goodrem’s charmed life.

“There’s a definite story in the tracklisting,” Delta says. “I felt I had to be really honest. Songs that people could still relate to but songs that also confronted issues. This past chapter of my life has been such an intense one and I wanted people to know my thoughts.”

Get ready to listen, learn and fall in love with Delta all over again.

Thanks to for submitting the biography.


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