HILDA is Jessica Mauboy's fourth studio album. Each of Jessica's studio albums have been an extraordinary photograph of where her soul has been at that time.
Here she now is at 29, and for the first time Jessica has co-written every track for this new album. It is without question Jessica’s most deeply personal work to date.
This is an album of songs about the ‘Little Things’ in our lives – the quiet moments on a ‘Sunday’ afternoon, the private thoughts alone in a taxi cab, the 3am reflections, the little rejections, the disappointments,
the small heartbreaks, but ultimately about hope and spirit which amount to the biggest things - who we are.
It is an album about the two families in one's life - the family we are born in to and the family we choose. It is an album she is deeply proud of and unlike her previous albums, it is the most naked & raw she has ever been.
The 14 track album, very much goes back to her culture, and Jessica tells a story throughout the songs on her new offering.
Everybody knows Jessica Mauboy, but they don't know JESSICA HILDA MAUBOY.
Review of Jessica Mauboy - Hilda by Thomas Bleach
Jessica Mauboy is entering a whole new era of her career. Her fourth studio album ‘Hilda’ hears her reacquainting herself with her RNB roots and resurfacing herself as a storyteller. Opening up about her family, relationships and struggle with love, this is the most personal we have heard Mauboy dive.
Sonically it feels like the mature sister to her debut album ‘Been Waiting’ with it’s heavy RNB-pop focus and disco injected sensibility. However there’s a lot of maturity and growth that has occurred and has seen her evolve into the artist she is now. And it’s simple breathtaking.
Opening with the dark and honest ‘Blessing’, she implements a cinematic touch that feels mysteriously bold. She reflects on a relationship where she wasn’t feeling valued and takes a moment to remind them that she is always worthy of feeling loved and special. And it sets a very confident undertone for the rest of the record as she takes control of her narrative.
The soulful lead single ‘Sunday’ is full of fire while the instant grat track ‘Jealous’ is hands down one of the best tracks she’s ever released. With the crooning RNB vibe of the first verse setting the mood, the chorus brings in a whole different vibe with a reggae influenced beat and hip moving element. Channeling the likes of Kehlani and Ashanti, she gets sexy and real with listeners.
Something this album hears Mauboy focusing on is the musical story of how she wants to represent the music. And a few of these songs hears her stripping the production back and beginning the track on a acoustic guitar which is something we haven't heard her do before. ‘Never Ever’ is a ‘Havana’ inspired moment which will have you feeling a little saucy, but it’s the guitar led ‘Tough Love’ which stands out as one of the albums strongest moments. Admitting that love isn't always easy, this raw and honest track is one that will have you really captivated.
Building onto her dance-pop experimentation of her third studio album ‘Beautiful’, she polishes out that radio ready sound with the euphoric ‘Come Runnin’, the disco anthem ‘Better’, the reggae infused ‘Selfish’ and the nostalgic album closer ‘Wish You Well’. And she even gives you a little Chainsmokers and Zedd inspired moment on the all-out EDM ‘Who We’re Meant To Be’.
Stripping it back to just a piano, the mammoth hit single ‘Little Things’ and the family themed ‘Just Like You’ hears her giving you a full serving of VOCALS. And damn, the girl can SING. There are a lot of anthem inspired moments in this collection and ‘Butterfly’ is a soulful piano ballad about persistence that grows with thumping drums and gospel harmonies that lift the production to a new realm.
And that’s a big takeaway from this record. She’s not only a talented singer but she’s also a talented songwriter and storyteller and on ‘Hilda’ she dives deep into her artistry and opens a piece of her heart to her listeners. What she’s created is her boldest and strongest record yet.
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