Primed to be a solo star since the age of 16, Nadine Coyle was always the ‘voice’ of Girls Aloud. With her powerful, silky smooth vocals, it was always expected that she would be the one that would depart from Girls Aloud to her own solo superstardom. But nobody counted on the power of Simon Cowell and a little show called the X Factor, which has meant that Nadine has had to sit back and watch as band mate Cheryl Cole has notched up #1 after #1.
When Girls Aloud announced their year-long hiatus in September 2009, Nadine also announced her intentions to release a solo album, an album that was eventually released on Monday, which has meant that Nadine fans have spent the past year and a bit agonising over just what has taken her so long to kickstart her solo career. Rumours have been plentiful, ranging from her difficulties in landing a solo deal, to, more recently, her apparent difficulty to work with.
But here it is, her long awaited debut album Insatiable. Released on her own label, Black Pen Records, and distributed exclusively through Tesco, Insatiable isn’t exactly setting the charts alight, lingering outside of the top 40 at the time of writing, something that no doubt is not sitting well with the Irish beauty.
After more than a year of waiting for even a snippet of a single, Insatiable isn’t exactly what I was expecting from Nadine. Like Cheryl Cole, her solo output just lacks something, and it’s not just the craftsmanship of Girls Aloud hit-makers Xenomania. Insatiable is a nice enough album, reminding us that Nadine is the one with the pipes, something which she seems to be adamant on proving on tracks such as Sexy Love Affair, which is indeed as cringy as the title suggests. It sounds like an Eternal album track, and not in a good way. That’s the problem with most of the songs – the fact that they sound like they belong in 1994, dated and unpolished.
That’s not always a bad thing, however, as proved on Lullaby, Raw, and I’ll Make A Man Out Of You Yet, the album’s highlights that prove that Nadine is capable of acting the diva convincingly when given the chance to unleash her impressive vocals without going into Mariah Carey mode. She also shines on album opener Runnin’, which has a synth-y, juddering backing and would sit well on any club DJ’s playlist. Insatiable, the title track and debut single, is also one of the stand out tracks, energetic and brassy with a great sing-a-long melody.
It’s a hit and miss, middle of the road kind of album, not good enough to justify any sort of hype, but not bad enough to be charting outside of the top 40 and getting 1 star reviews from the press. Nadine often insists that the reason she didn’t sign to a major label was so that she could have complete creative control over her album, and it is clear that she has put an awful lot of hard work into it. However, it’s saccharine-sweet and grating in parts, which is a big shame considering just how hard she has worked on it.
Download: Raw, Lullaby, Runnin’