Thursday, January 11, 2007
Before They Were Young Divas - Part 1
I love the Young Divas. They really are a pop trash addict's wet dream - a manufactured girl group who cover gay disco classics and look like sumo wrestlers in drag. I've made several posts about Paulini and her amazing "Superwoman" album, but I realise I have all but ignored the other three members. Basically, because I thought they were completely useless. However, I have had the near spiritual experience of watching the band perform live several times over summer and the other tragic skanks have won me over. Kate, Emily and Ricki-Lee might be as rough as the Australian cricket team but they can sing and they are amusing, in a car crash kind of way. I have decided to review the (failed) solo careers of all of the "divas". Paulini is my favourite YD and Ricki-Lee's album is actually quite wonderful in an "oh no, she didn't!" manner, so I'm going to start off with the two least trashtastic divas: the ever-expanding Kate DeAraugo and Hawk Eye, aka Emily Williams.
There really isn't much to say about Emily. Apart from the fact that she was runner-up in the third series of Australian Idol, behind Kate DeAraugo. Emily is the only Young Diva yet to release a solo recording. The closest she has come is singing the bonus track for the Young Divas' album, a fairly shocking cover of Dolly/Whitney's "I Will Always Love You". I doubt this offering will have fans petitioning for a solo album. Emily does have a nice voice but she seems disinterested and bored A LOT of the time. During concerts she often stops singing mid-song to talk to the crowd about her life and her sister (who was also on Idol). It was nice and personal the first few times but the novelty has well and truly worn off. Strangely, when the girls sing together, Emily comes across as one of the most competent performers. Emily is growing on me but I still think the most intriguing thing about her remains the fact that she was a forklift driver before entering Idol!
Kate DeAraugo entered the first two series of Australian Idol but was rejected. She made the cut the third time around and ended up winning the whole damn thing. I'm still not sure how she did it. I was less than impressed with just about everything about Kate during her run on Australian Idol, from her dreary choice of soft-rock material to her pleasant but generic voice. Kate's debut single, "Maybe Tonight", hit #1 and the follow up, "Faded" was a substantial hit. However, Kate's album disappeared after a couple of weeks and Sony decided against releasing any further singles. "Maybe Tonight" is actually quite a lovely ballad, while "Faded" (penned by the Veronicas) is a surprisingly good slice of pop-rock. Unfortunately, the rest of her debut album is rather shit. In many ways, Kate is the odd "diva" out. Her musical influences seem to be quite rock orientated and she looks far more comfortable in a tracksuit than a sequined mini-skirt. And yet, it is this fish out of water quality that makes Kate so endearing.
The second part of my "Before They Were Divas" special will focus on the trashtastic Ricki-Lee Coulter. Stay tuned!