It’s not often that I find myself stanning for a Delta Goodrem song, but the Aussie songstress snagged me hook, line, and sinker with her comeback single “Sitting on Top of the World” earlier this year. It was one of the catchiest things she’s ever done, and had me actually excited to see what she’d do next. Turns out the ‘next’ is a full-fledged foray into dance-pop courtesy of hitmaker John Shanks called “Dancing with a Broken Heart”.
Shanks’ specialty lies in the commercial pop-rock genre, and even though he’s worked with big names like Celine Dion and Bon Jovi, he’s probably best known as one of the masterminds behind the last decade’s tween-rock sound that was led by the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, and Ashlee Simpson.
“Dancing with a Broken Heart” shows that Shanks and Goodrem should stick to what they know best. The production is incredibly uninspired, with a by-the-numbers dance beat that’s so simple and pedestrian that it comes off as cheap. Even the hook is weak, which is surprising since a killer chorus is usually an avenue that Delta excels in. The whole song plays like the nicer, older sister of KARA’s “Speed Up”, but without the trash factor that made that song a guilty pleasure.
Delta’s step into darker, more subtle territory is definitely welcome, and the approach makes “Dancing with a Broken Heart” more engaging than it probably should be, but it’s ultimately forgettable with little replay value.
On 2007′s underrated “Believe Again”, Delta successfully merged her trademark piano-pop with dance and electronic elements to create something fresh and original that pushed her sound forward without abandoning it completely. The same can’t be said for “Dancing with a Broken Heart”, which could’ve been sung by any B-list singer not popular enough to buy better songs.
On the bright side, the remixes are going to be absolutely amazing.