Released: May 12
Almost three decades since the release of her most recent pop record, Belinda Carlisle returns to exceptional form with the stunning five-track ‘Kismet’.
Released in 1996, ‘A Woman and A Man’ – the sixth solo album from the US superstar – was a commercial hit, marking her return to the UK Top 10 with lead single In Too Deep, but behind the scenes she was locked in a battle with addiction and ultimately stepped away from pop.
However, in a true happening of destiny she found herself on the other end of the phone to songwriting supremo Diane Warren, who lured her back into the studio. “I really wasn’t thinking I would ever make [another pop record] again… and I was quite happy with that idea,” she says. “Then a chance encounter in a coffee shop led me back to the wonderful Diane Warren.”
Picking up where she left off, lead single and opening track Big Big Love is a full circle moment, drawing on her new wave-inspired work with the band and anthemic solo hits that wouldn’t sound out of place on the ‘Live Your Life Be Free’ (1991) album.
Authentically Belinda, all five songs touch different bases and reference various eras from her career; the empowering If U Go could easily have featured on any of her late-eighties records, while soaring midtempo Deeper Into You channels the AC direction of her later material.
Originally recorded by LeAnn Rimes for her 2016 album ‘Remnants’, I Couldn’t Do That To Me is reminiscent of classic Belinda ballads like Vision of You and Half The World, with a vocal that remains powerful and strikingly ageless, while closing number Sanity – heavy with strings and layered harmonies – builds to a hypnotic outro as she sings, ‘You abandoned me / Why did you go…’
Undoubtedly her strongest material since the early-nineties, ‘Kismet’ is a welcome reminder not only of Belinda’s power as one of the greatest pop stars of a generation, but also Diane Warren’s knack for penning a killer hit.
“Diane’s songwriting is both a joy and mystery to me,” the vocalist agrees. “She makes it look so easy, where I imagine it must be unbelievably hard, to do what she does so amazingly well over so many years and so many records. I can’t thank her enough for writing this music for me and I only hope everyone else loves it as much as I do.”
READ MORE: Belinda Carlisle shares details of first pop album in more than 25 years