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Listen Up!: Natalia Kills reflects on upbringing in new album 'Trouble' - The Red and Black : Variety

Listen Up!: Natalia Kills reflects on upbringing in new album 'Trouble'

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  • Natalia Kills — Trouble: Sept. 10

    Kills' sophomore effort hasn't yet been released, but the worries of a sophomore slump are nonexistent. Nearly a year after releasing the teaser track "Controversy," a Jeff Bhasker-produced thumper that gives way to the lead single "Problem" and second single "Saturday Night." With her most personal lyrics yet, backed by screeching guitars and police sirens, there truly is "no salvation for a bad girl."

    Release date: Tuesday, Sept. 10

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 4:53 pm, Mon Sep 23, 2013.

Natalia Kills' highly anticipated, and when I say highly I mean to anyone who loves good pop music, sophomore album "Trouble" releases its physical copy today, after a digital release last week.

Sound-wise, Kills ditched the synth-heavy sound she explored with her debut "Perfectionist" and it paid off. 

Lyrically, the album is reflective of her troubled childhood, including getting arrested, living off the streets, dealing with domestic abuse and its after effects.

Album opener "Television" begins with the sound of police sirens and echoed speaking before vocoded guitars and drums drop in as Kills sings "Hello mister officer / we're just having fun / you can take the handcuffs off / I promise we won't run." A perfect introduction to the themes of the album.

Another stand out track on the album is "Daddy's Girl." It leads with a brilliant sample of Hall & Oates' hit "Rich Girl," which is interpolated throughout the rest of the track. The song appears to be about an ex-boyfriend who she remains loyal to despite his current incarceration.

The next song worth checking out is "Rabbit Hole." This naughty track compares falling in love to falling down a rabbit hole, but not without referencing cocaine, rough sex and her mother's marriage to a jailbird.

Perhaps the most vulnerable song she's released is "Marlboro Lights," a piano driven ballad that places the focus on her vocal prowess. The lyrics are chilling as she contemplates suicide over her lover leaving her, however, the climax ultimately lies within the end of the bridge: "But if no one understands me / at least you could pretend / I never knew when love was true / but I know it's the end."

As all good things must come to an end, the album closes with the title track "Trouble." It plays like the credits to a good movie, summing up the themes once more with a catchy song that resonates in the audience's mind. The track discusses her attempts at burning down the house when she and her boyfriend are stuck inside without sounding like a similarly named song.

It's only September, but this could possibly be the most cohesive pop album of 2013 thus far.

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