Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Deni - Australia's Urban Pop Queen

I have never understood the level of scorn directed at Deni Hines in Australia. Deni is the woman that Australian pop fans love to hate. Admittedly, Deni did spend most of the 90s turning up to the opening of an envelope, getting trashed on free booze and making a general spectacle of herself at award ceremonies. But surely that only adds to her appeal?

I think the real reason for the Deni malice is the general view that she used her mother's fame to further her career and sold out by covering "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" for a car commercial. The latter reason is clearly invalid because that advertisement remains comic genius and the former is simply uninformed. Deni's mother, the equally lovely Marcia Hines, was one of Australia's biggest pop stars in the 1970s and is now the resident Australian Idol earth mother. Marcia has a huge profile now but when Deni launched her career, she was playing to empty rooms and fighting serious illness. If anything Marcia used Deni's success to re-launch her career. Maybe people just have bad taste. Put simply, 'The Deni' is a national treasure.

Deni's Mum, Marcia

I'm sure I will return to Deni many times in the future, so here is a very brief rundown of her uneven career. Deni rocketed to instant stardom as the lead vocalist of "The Rockmelons" who had a string of top 10 hits in the early 90s. Given her profile, it seemed inevitable that Deni would go solo and her debut album "Imagination" was an absolute winner. The first single, "It's Alright" hit the top 10 and charted in the UK top 40. According to Deni's myspace website, "It's Alright" was #1 in France for several weeks but I have it on good authority (well, from Aaron of Toy's Haven fame!) that this is unlikely. Nevertheless, the album was a success in Europe and Japan and sold well in Australia. It seemed that Deni was a major new star in the making. However, instead of capitalising on her success, the next decade only saw Deni release a re-mix album, a handful of singles and provide a couple of tracks for film soundtracks.

Deni's latest album, the intoxicating "Water For Chocolate"

I have no idea what happened with Deni because it was not as if she spent her time lying on a beach in Jamaica. The woman was everywhere, except it seems, a recording studio. I first discovered the depth of my Deni devotion when I saw her in the glamorous surrounds of an RSL club, doing a show for $20 (I think drinks were included!). I went for a bit of 90s nostalgia and was blown away by Deni's electric talent and the cutting-edge sound of her then unreleased new material. Deni finally sorted out a new record deal and recently released her first new studio album in a decade, "Water for Chocolate". This is one of the best urban pop albums ever to come out of Australia and it is definitely one of my favourite records of the year. Unfortunately, the album has come and gone without making much of an impression. The two singles from the album have been interesting choices, to say the least, but surely good enough to be sizeable hits. It didn't help that the album was so hard to find, I virtually had to blow the guy at my local music store to order it in. If you like any of these clips, I urge you to buy "Water For Chocolate" here. The album is an absolute gem.

Deni's most recent single, a cover of Dusty's "Son Of A Preacher Man"

Watch the simple but effective video clip of Deni's take on "Son Of A Preacher Man" here.


BigBackDoor said...

Can you feel the Deni love in the room ? I can.
I've just downloaded that 'Frenzy' track-it's like Destinys Child when they're not crap.Not in the same league as Water for Chocolate (a masterpiece) but still a keeper ,so I thank you for the link.

Trash Addict said...

LOL - The Deni doubles her fanbase! :)

Have you heard "Cut It Up" from her latest album? It's very much in the same vein as "Frenzy". You might like it!