Sarah Blasko’s 5th album Eternal Return has been produced with the influence of an unusual muse. The purchase of an old Prophet synthesiser heard throughout the new album has been in her words; “a catalyst” to her musical invention. That and her desire to present something a little bit more pop orientated, Blasko and her beautiful husky voice have channelled the Depeche Mode era with the instrumental artistry smarts of Bowie.
The opening song I am Ready starts with a strong Sarah Blasko signifier – the rat-a-tat riff of the drum that featured throughout her last two albums. Maybe this is a goodbye to the past march style orchestral compositions, to a more light-hearted synthetic feel, an indicator of the current popularity for artists to play with New Wave, a drum machine and in Blasko’s case, love in her life. Each song is noticeably less insular than on her previous album I Awake , even the song titles on Eternal Return give her new found love away; I Am ready – “I am ready / to be revealed” and I Wanna Be Your Man, both songs soaring with 80’s Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark-like sustained synth chords.
Better with you picks up speed with an electronic drum arpeggio running in the distance alongside ghostlike electric chords. The lyrics “Look at we have it’s getting / better all the time,” is a warmup to my favourite track on the album I’d be Lost – Blasko’s token get up out of your seat and dance number. Yes you read correct – a Sarah Blasko dance number. But back to your seat for the super smooth Luxurious – this time her synthesiser muse has flicked the instrumental effects to ‘strings’ which hover listlessly and you can hear influences of the uber-cool US artist Joan as Police Woman. Even Say What You Want has a certain ‘Chris de Burge’ strain running through, now that’s hard core 80’s. Blasko’s unique husky vocals accompanied by her synth-pop compositions will take us back this summer to those freedom years.