Australia's favourite twins Lisa and Jessica Origliasso, AKA The Veronicas, return with their long anticipated self-titled album. Pre-tailed by an online series documenting their last seven years since Hook Me Up (and their split from Warner Brothers), the sisters have become better known for their endorsements and 'famous for being famous' status as much as their musical career. Still, they've hooked in some big production names - Butch Vig (Nirvana) and Nellee Hooper (Massive Attack) - to chip away some of the gloss of their previous work, clearly hoping to pick up some of those fine alt.pop vibes.
Big comeback single 'You Ruin Me' could have easily been written for an X-Factor winner. A piano-led ballad in the same vein as Adele's 'Someone Like You', the string section inserts some plastic emotion, but is so flawlessly executed it's hard to grumble - which is the story of the album generally. The impressive writing team includes Tony Gad (co-writer of 'All Of Me' with John Legend and The Veronicas' huge 2007 hit 'Untouched'), Emeli Sande and basically anyone who has written a hit for Rhianna, Jessie J or Nikki Minaj - everyone who knows what it takes to pen material that will sound good on TV basically. If the blueprint was to inject some Lorde-like credibility, it's less successful; if they wanted to make another Pink album, then champagne all round. Barring two or three token 'experimental' efforts like 'Line Of Fine' and 'Sanctified', the formula is identikit mainstream pop with little real character. Tracks like 'Cruel', 'Teenage Millionaire' and 'Always' would not sound out of place if done by Mylie (or even The Saturdays) - and if they hadn't found a home here they probably would have been.
The Origliasso sisters look and sound like a record executive's dream. Adjectives like 'stylish', 'glitzy' and 'fierce' generally surround any Veronica article. It's easy to see why the label would throw so much money at this project - hey, they even wear matching T's and jeans on the artwork. They can do the business. But after such a long hiatus, not much has changed in Veronica world and it's hard to see them as anything more than just contenders.