Insatiable (album)

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Insatiable
Nadinealbum.jpg
Studio album by Nadine
Released 8 November 2010 (2010-11-08)
Recorded 2008–2010; London, Los Angeles, Malibu, Stockholm
Genre
Length 49:04
Label Black Pen
Producer Ricci Riccardi, Toby Gad, Guy Chambers, Julian Bunetta, Quiz & Larossi, William Orbit
Singles from Insatiable
  1. "Insatiable"
    Released: 1 November 2010

Insatiable is the debut studio album by Irish singer-songwriter and Girls Aloud member Nadine Coyle. The album was released on 8 November 2010 via Black Pen Records, a record label formed by Coyle in partnership with the UK's largest supermarket chain Tesco.

Background[edit]

Following seven years as a member of Girls Aloud, Nadine Coyle announced plans to release a solo album during the group's hiatus.[1][2][3] In May 2009, Coyle announced that she had signed a publishing deal with EMI.[4] She told Late Late Show host Pat Kenny, "I'm writing songs and it's slightly different styles from Girls Aloud, so I'm gonna do that, writing stuff after Girls Aloud. [...] I have loads of material of stuff to do, but it's just about the timing and about getting it right and getting the right songs to put out."[4] She enlisted Barbara Charone, who was worked with Madonna and Christina Aguilera, as a publicist and Bruce Garfield as her manager.[5][6][7] "There wasn't anything wrong with what had happened or what had gone on for years - because it was really successful," Nadine said. "It just seemed like I had taken a completely different route, personally, in the writing and the production and I wanted a completely new team so we could start afresh."[8] Despite early reports indicating three major record labels interested in Nadine,[9] it was reported that she had failed to earn a solo record deal, even being turned down by Girls Aloud's label Polydor Records.[10] This was denied by manager Bruce Garfield. In April 2010, it was reported she had signed to Geffen Records.[11] The deal later fell through.[12]

In August 2010, Nadine officially signed a deal with grocery store chain Tesco to exclusively distribute Insatiable.[12][13] Tesco's head of entertainment Rob Salter said in a statement: "We are delighted that Nadine Coyle has agreed to entrust the first album of her solo career to Tesco. Nadine has delivered a real album with musical integrity and, most of all, that great big warm voice and fantastic songs which we believe will speak to all of Tesco's customers."[14] The album itself will be released through Nadine's own label Black Pen Records.[15] "The traditional model for selling an album isn't the only way of doing things," Nadine said. "To be able to create an album where you are in complete control of your own work is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an artist."[14][15] Nadine is said to have turned down offers from various major labels, including Universal Music.[16]

Recording[edit]

Nadine recorded the album in London, Los Angeles, Malibu, and Stockholm.[15] She worked with a number of famous songwriters and producers during recording sessions, such as Desmond Child, Guy Chambers, Mike Elizondo, Steve Booker, Toby Gad, Tony Kanal, and newcomer Ricci Riccardi.[2][6][7][17] Nadine also worked with Lucie Silvas, Matchbox Twenty's Kyle Cook, William Orbit, and Tiesto.[13][18][19] Nadine said she had sketched out most of the tracks in her London flat, before taking them to producers. Some of the original vocals, recorded in her front room, remain on the finished record.[14] Some songs were even recorded in Nadine's en suite bathroom.[8] According to an interview with Booker, Coyle had worked on song ideas using GarageBand which she then presented to Booker in England to work on together further.[20] The producer said, "She was singing her songs to loops, and then I took the loops out and rewrote the music from scratch to her ideas."[20] He described her songs as "very pop".[20] Booker also worked on songs to show off Nadine's vocals: "Because she’s got such a belting voice, I tried a couple of things where she could really belt," he said.[20] Nadine herself said, "We never did big, massive notes, so it was difficult to fit my style of writing on a Girls Aloud album."[8] In February 2010, Nadine revealed that she was recording extra tracks to help perfect her solo album, in order to have "a lot of choices."[21]

Music[edit]

According to the official press release, the album includes "influences ranging from the 80’s to the noughties via Motown, sleek soul, blissed out ballads and a major injection of Tina Turneresque va-va-voooom."[15] The Daily Mirror also noted that some of the songs are reminiscent of Turner.[22] She also drew inspiration from soul band Sade's latest album Soldier of Love.[21] Some of song titles were revealed: "Insatiable", co-written with Guy Chambers, "showcases a harder, guitar-led sound for the pop singer."[14] It was described as "a bombastic synthy pop morsel."[23] "Red Light" is said to be "a disco dazzler" and "an Annie Lennox-goes-electro-glam stomper", with a 40-second guitar solo.[23][24] "Chained" is a contemporary R&B song with "a sparkly synth backline" built around a synth riff similar to Whitney Houston's "My Love Is Your Love".[23][24] "Natural", also co-written with Chambers, was called "a slinky little number."[23] "Unbroken" is "a soulful, smouldering, five-minute-long ballad" which sees Nadine sing in a "near-operatic falsetto".[23] Two other songs heard by the BBC included a more straightforward pop number, and a show-stopping minor key ballad in the style of 1970s singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell.[14]

Release and promotion[edit]

The album was released on 8 November 2010.[24][25] It was sold exclusively in Tesco stores.[14] She performed at London's G-A-Y on Saturday, 30 October.[26] On the 19th of October, a five-track Insatiable sampler was released through Nadine's official website, and made available for download. The sampler includes snippets of "Insatiable", "Put Your Hands Up", "Chained", "Red Light" and "Sexy Love Affair". She also promoted the album by performing to several hundred retail managers at the annual Tesco Company Conference 2010 at ExCeL London on 4 November 2010.[27]

Singles[edit]

"Insatiable", the album's title track, served as the lead single upon its release on 1 November.[14][28] Upon release, the track garnered heavy critical praise. Co-written with Guy Chambers and produced by newcomer Ricci Riccardi, BBC said the song "showcases a harder, guitar-led sound for the pop singer."[14] It is said to be "ballsy and Eighties-influenced", receiving comparisons to The Bangles.[24][28] Nadine said she knew it was going to be a hit as soon as they finished it, because it was so catchy. She said, "I just knew we had something special when we wrote that song."[29] A clip of the single appeared on Nadine's website on 6 September.[14] The song received its official world premiere on In:Demand on 10 September.[30] The music video, directed by Wayne Isham, was filmed in Los Angeles.[15] The video premiered on 3 October.[31] The single entered the UK singles chart at number 26 selling 11,392 copies.[32] "Insatiable" entered the Irish top 50 at number 20.

Chart performance[edit]

Nadine's album was released exclusively through supermarket chain Tesco. It was available as a physical CD release in stores, or as an MP3 download on the Tesco website. The album was not available on iTunes, Play, Amazon, HMV or any other music download website. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 47, selling 5,450 copies in its first week.[33] In its second week of release, the album fell to number 131 selling a further 1,809 copies.[34] The album debuted at number 4 on the UK Independent Chart and spent two weeks inside the top 10.[35] In Ireland the album reached number 20 on the Official Irish Chart in its first week of release there. In the Irish indie chart, Insatiable peaked at number 2. As of November 2011, Insatiable has sold 13,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[36]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
BBC Music (positive)[37]
Daily Express 2/5 stars[38]
The Daily Telegraph 2/5 stars[39]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[40]
The Irish Times 3/5 stars[41]
Metro 1/5 stars[42]
NME (6/10)[43]
The Scotsman 1/5 stars[44]
Virgin Media 2/5 stars[45]
Yahoo! Music (6/10)[46]

Insatiable received generally mixed to unfavourable reviews from music critics. Aggregating website AnyDecentMusic? reports a rating of 5.6 based on eight reviews.[47] Fraser McAlpine of BBC Music felt that it "does tend to skitter across [...] a fine line between Heartfelt and A Bit Dim [...] in quite a distracting fashion", but noticed that its "quirks and idiosyncrasies are wrapped up in immaculately produced, grown-up pop music, hand-tooled by experts" and called it "lively and enjoyable in lots of ways".[37] Tony Clayton-Lea from The Irish Times wrote that "it’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but as femme-pop goes, it’s a belter".[41] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian called it a "hook-filled record" of "sumptuous pop and Motownish melodies", but felt that it "doesn't make more of [Coyle's] voice" and concluded by stating that "she needs to plunge in properly if she's going to be a viable solo star".[40] Sam Wolfson of NME felt that the album sounds "anachronistic" but praised the absence of auto-tune, saying that "it’s a pleasant reminder that pop homogeneity isn’t compulsory and most songs are fine without a guest slot from Flo Rida and a massive drop every nine seconds".[43] James Berry of Yahoo! Music noticed that Coyle's "budget didn't stretch as far as cutting edge production" but ultimately described the album as "a consistent, strutting and reasonably on the button pop record".[46] Charlotte Heathcote from Daily Express wrote that Insatiable "holds its own [...] but its pop-by-numbers approach lacks the individuality to stand out in a marketplace saturated with expensively produced pop" and noticed that "it squanders [Coyle's] killer ingredient: that belter of a voice".[38]

Lucy Jones of The Daily Telegraph gave the album a mixed review, saying that "once you sweep away William Orbit’s glittering production and the hyper-stylised image of the Derry-born pop princess, there’s few outstanding songs here to leave the listener satisfied".[39] Ian Gittins from Virgin Media wrote that Coyle "fails to use her deadliest weapon – her voice – to full effect on this proficient but somewhat personality-free album, preferring to warble gently over generic pop/R&B cuts".[45] Arwa Haider of Metro gave Insatiable a scathing review, saying that Coyle "lacks key pop diva attributes: warmth; empathy; vulnerability" and that she is "passionless throughout an album that strains to flaunt her versatility".[42] The Scotsman was equally negative, describing the album as "homogenised pop pap from a variety of proven popular suppliers, none of whom enhance their slender reputations" and calling it "a career low point".[44]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Runnin'" Nadine Coyle, Julian Bunetta, Ruth-Anne Cunningham[48] Bunetta 4:05
2. "Put Your Hands Up" Coyle, Arnthor Birgisson[49] Birgisson 3:45
3. "Chained" Coyle, Ricci Riccardi, Gareth Owen[49] Riccardi 3:59
4. "Insatiable" Coyle, Guy Chambers[50] Riccardi 3:07
5. "Red Light" Coyle, Steve Booker, Riccardi, Owen [51] Riccardi 4:11
6. "My Sexy Love Affair" Coyle, Toby Gad Gad 4:06
7. "Lullaby" Coyle, Alex Cantrell, Louis Bell[52] Cantrell, Bell 3:13
8. "You Are the One" Coyle, Gad[53] Gad 4:06
9. "Natural" Coyle, Guy Chambers[54] Chambers 3:36
10. "Raw" Coyle, Guy Chambers [55] Riccardi 3:44
11. "Rumors" Coyle, Alex James, Andreas Romdhane, Josef Larossi[49] Quiz & Larossi 3:52
12. "Unbroken" Coyle, Booker[56] William Orbit 5:04
13. "I'll Make a Man Out of You Yet" Coyle[57] Riccardi 4:16

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010)[58] Peak
position
Irish Albums Chart[59] 20
Scottish Albums Chart 51
UK Albums Chart[60] 47
UK Independent Chart[61] 4

References[edit]

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