Album Review: Missy Higgins - The Ol' Razzle Dazzle (2012 LP)

Missy Higgins new album The Ol' Razzle Dazzle

Most memorably known for songs such as 'Scar', 'Steer' and 'The Special Two' it’s no surprise that fans are to new tracks as keys are to babies. In case my abstract metaphor didn’t quite tickle your fancy... it’s pretty damn exciting. Five years between albums and the down to earth Aussie musician, Missy Higgins, has released The Ol' Razzle Dazzle. As the title suggests, this third album is about a life of music and the relationship that Higgins has with her art form.

After taking time out from the scene, Higgins (as cliché as it sounds) traveled, studied and worked on various projects (non-musical) that she was passionate about. I know this may bring about a few squirms and cringes but Higgins really did “find herself”. Her new outlook and confidence resonates within each track.

As Higgins explains, "I’ve taken a long time off, I’ve grown up, I have a new sense of appreciation of all I’ve achieved and how lucky I have been to be in this position… Now I’ve got a sense of my place in the world and who I am.” Tracks such as 'Unashamed Desire' and 'Set Me On Fire' are bold and invigorating yet comfortable and unassuming.

After the The Sound Of White, On A Clear Night and the dozens of Higgins mimics (sorry, ‘influenced singers’) I wasn’t sure if I’d be up for that familiar sound of earthy vocals and humble piano. As great as her previous albums are it was refreshing to listen to the complex, mature songs featured on The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle. Some people will probably be surprised and unsure about whether the new Higgins hits the spot but I’m a firm believer in an artists’ right to grow and change….Silverchair debate anyone?

Ultimately the album tells a romantic story of Higgins relationship with music. The pressure of expectations ('Everyone's Waiting'), the questionable, darker days ('All In My Head', 'Watering Hole') and the movie-moment (probably in the rain) leap back into 'The Sweet Arms Of A Tune'.

Review Score: 8.8 out of 10