The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle is the long-awaited and somewhat surprising third album from Australian music sweetheart, Missy Higgins. This is the first new music from Higgins in five years, after she secretly walked away from her piano and music career in 2007. Since then, we have barely heard from Higgins, who immersed herself in an Indigenous Studies Degree at Melbourne University.
The first single off the new album, Unashamed Desire, burst onto our airways in April. Finally, we are now treated to the musical journey of Higgins’ inner struggles after turning her back on the music that made her famous.
The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle is experimental, and far from the stripped-back acoustics we are used to from Higgins. The album brings a divine mixture of country, pop and soulful blues. The unmistakeable heart- aching personal touch that Higgins adds to every one of her songs is still ever so strong. An older and wiser Missy brings us the story of the last five years and the battle she endured when making the decision to resign from music.
A musical love song and the first song on the album, Set Me On Fire powerfully describes Missy’s inability to write and her ‘protesting’ against playing her beloved Piano: ‘Melody, you’re the one who saves me; Melody, all I want is to remember what came before this winter’.
Everyone’s Waiting is a painful look into the pressures Missy faced when making the ultimate decision to stop writing music, and the expectations held over her career: ‘Everyone’s waiting, it makes it harder to hear what my heart keeps saying’, Missy’s husky and soulful voice echo’s over this beautiful melody. Missy collaborated with Dan Wilson to write this song, who also co-wrote Adele’s Someone Like You.
All In My Head’s stunning harmony is accompanied by alluring strings, and in this song Higgins fiercely conquers her fears.
Cooling of the Embers is deeply personal, and takes us through the visual heartache of the decline in health of Missy’s Grandmother: ‘And you’re only half here, like someone left a frail body and took the rest’.
The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle is a defiant return for Missy Higgins and an emotional soundtrack of the rollercoaster she’s endured. The album incorporates heavy-hearted soul with Missy’s unforgettable voice, and what it presents is dazzling.
Missy’s career in 2012 has skyrocketed awaiting the release of this album, proving to the nation how our lost sweetheart is as incredible as ever. With a number of sold-out shows on her national tour, beginning in June, Missy Higgins was never forgotten.
The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle is released on June 1.