Missy Higgins – The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

After seven years, Nicole Dora at last has a listen to the very long awaited return of Missy Higgins: 

It was 2004 when Missy Higgins came along and became a permanent etching on the Australian culture scene. With her debut album The Sound Of White going platinum nine times over, everyone knew about the Melbourne based singer and her mix of light-hearted cynicism and beautifully tragic melodies/sonnets. Eight years after that first album and with a second long-player also under her belt, it seems that Missy is only just starting to get her groove back. With that second record kind of fading into the background, this third album – The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle – is a reminder that the national icon is still alive and kicking (you can’t blame me for saying that – The Sound of White is practically the soundtrack to the mid-noughties for the lives of many ladies and gentlemen all over Australia). Some call The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle a foray into darkness and, while there are undertones of this through the album, at the same time it just sounds like someone who has lived life a little bit.

The first single, Unashamed Desire, shows us a hint of sinister intentions with the handy use of a cowbell, while songs If I’m Honest and Everyone’s Waiting don’t have the same conviction as previous tear jerkers like The Special Two, but you get the feeling that this album is trying not to get too concerned with the whimsy of unrequited love.

With ample time to let this album grow on me, I am still waiting for the funny feeling that I got from Higgins’ first record – something that swayed from the heart-swelling to the stomach-dropping. This time round you can tell the direction is intending to move into new territory and it will be interesting to see what this cultivates and what path Missy goes down from here.

Review by Nicole Dora