I adore Tina Arena. I grew up watching her perform on Young Talent Time alongside my spiritual guide, Dannii Minogue, and have followed her career closely over the years. Few artists have tried as many styles and musical genres with as much success as Tina. She started out as yet another scantily dressed pop tart (who could ever forget the video for "I Need Your Body"?!) before staging one of the greatest comebacks in Australian musical history as a serious artiste with the staggeringly successful "Don't Ask". Tina's next album, "In Deep", was a concerted effort to appeal to the American adult contemporary market. That album tanked in comparison to "Don't Ask" and Tina decided that a pop makeover was in order. The resulting album, "Just Me", is an absolute delight. Of course it basically killed Tina's career but it lives on as Australian pop trash classic!
I should, and most probably will, devote a post to the entire album. "Just Me" is bursting with pop gems but I want to concentrate on the delicious "Soul Mate #9". I had my Ipod on shuffle last night and had a screaming POPgasm when Tina's fabulous anthem penetrated my ears. I was going to post a faux R'n'B remix but I don't think the world is ready for gansta Tina just yet! Anyway, the song is sublime in its original format. In fact, it's so good that it makes me more than a little sad to see what has happened to Tina in the years that followed. It is beyond shameful that an extraordinary talent like Tina was dumped by her label and had to flee to France in order to reinvent herself as the antipodean Celine Dion! I have my fingers crossed that Tina will drop those stinking French ballads, return to Australia and continue making fantastic pop music. I will be waiting at the airport with a "Welcome Home" banner!
You can purchase "Just Me" from iTunes, Chaos and Sanity. Oh, and check out the cute pic from Young Talent Time below. Tina is second from the left in the top row and that is the adorable Dannii Minogue on the left in the bottom row. They should hook up and record a duet!