Natalie Imbruglia Wrapping Up Eclectic New Album

'Torn' singer's follow-up to Left of the Middle due late this year or early next.

More than three years after "Torn" tore her from relative obscurity, Australian singer/songwriter Natalie Imbruglia is nearly done recording her second album, which will find the former soap opera star taking charge of her musical destiny.

The as-yet-untitled album, due late this year or early in 2002, is expected to include songs co-written by former Cure bassist Phil Thornalley, who co-wrote and produced "Torn," according to Dave Novik, the RCA Records A&R executive who's working with Imbruglia.

Producer/songwriter Patrick Leonard, of Madonna and Jewel fame, also worked with Imbruglia on the album, as did producers Gary Clark (k.d. lang) and Ian Stanley (Tori Amos), Novik said.

Imbruglia co-wrote most of her 1998 debut album, Left of the Middle, but she intends to have writing input on every song on the new one.

Among the likely stand-out tracks on the album, according to Novik, is "Goodbye," a "haunting rock ballad" co-written with Matthew Wilder, who wrote and sang the 1983 hit "Break My Stride."

The album will also likely include "That Day," a track co-written by Leonard, and "Wrong Impression" co-written by Clark.

"I think it's a much deeper album than the first record," Novik said. "[It's a] multifaceted, left-of-center pop record with some eclectic and interesting and unique songs and sounds."

Many tracks are expected to be "tougher, with a little bit more attitude" than much of Left of the Middle, but Imbruglia won't deviate from her breathy, plaintive vocal style.

Imbruglia's most recent musical endeavor was the uncharacteristic, Billy Corgan-penned "Identify," from the 1999 soundtrack to the art-horror movie "Stigmata" (see [article id="1374720"]"Natalie Imbruglia: Stigmata Inamorata"[/article]).

Around the time of that release, Imbruglia said she had high expectations for her second album.

"It won't be ready for this year, but I will be working on it solidly. It's got to be good. And that all depends on what wants to come out of me creatively," she said. "It has a lot to do with taking the pressure off and relaxing and enjoying the ride. So it all depends on how much I can do that and open up and let go."

Novik cautioned that because Imbruglia is still finishing the new album, all information on it remains tentative.

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