REVIEW

ALBUM REVIEW: Tones and I - Welcome To The Madhouse

DEBUT: Tones and I's Welcome To The Madhouse follows a familiar route.

DEBUT: Tones and I's Welcome To The Madhouse follows a familiar route.

MORE than two years after Dance Monkey was propelled to No.1 in 30 countries, we finally have a debut album from Tones and I.

Toni Watson has already showcased her innate ability for hooky melodies. Aside Dance Monkey, she's delivered certified hits with Never Seen The Rain, Fly Away, Won't Sleep and Cloudy Day.

But can she deliver a full-length album? Welcome To The Madman leaves that question unanswered.

Much of the music, such as the Madness-inspired title track and calypso-vibe Westside Lobby, are bland and formulaic slices of electro pop that have the soul of a Casio keyboard.

They sound more like box-ticking exercises rather than statements of intent.

They sound more like box-ticking exercises rather than statements of intent. The closest we get to attitude is when Tones reminds her critics that "my song went No.1 in over 30 f--king countries/ And I'm sorry if that offends you, my dear".

You Don't Know My Name is more generic electro-pop where any attitude is worn away by vocal processors and bubblegum synths.

Welcome To The Madhouse is at it's best when Tones ramps up the soul in her vocals and piano on her celebratory earworm Fly Away and stirring Just A Mess.

Child's Play is another moment when Tones' playful experimentation shines through. The creeping loop and slinking bass allows Tones to deliver her most interesting melody of the album.

Sadly, that's about as adventurous, or mad, as Welcome To The Madhouse gets.

It's mostly a safe and predictable pop album which will undoubtedly hit the targeted tween-aged fans, but offers little to listeners craving substance.

Dance Monkey might have made Tones and I a pop star with global reach, but we're still waiting for her to say something.

2.5 stars

This story Tones and I's debut album safe and not very mad first appeared on Newcastle Herald.