If anyone knows how to grab your heart and squeeze it for all it is worth, it’s Missy Higgins.

Her latest album The Ol Razzle Dazzle reflects a new aura within Higgins’ personality. Based upon “the ups, the downs, the uncertainty, the questioning and all the lessons learned” in her life over the past few years. A distinct turnaround in her state of mind can be heard: centered, darker, and self-assured.

It is the truth. And the truth is what has sold millions of Missy Higgins albums.

Comforting fans across the globe with her realness of character and substance of lyrics. It has been five years since her last release (2007’s On A Clear Night), providing time for Higgins to come to terms with who she is, building up the foundations of herself devoid of publicity.

The tracks are heavy, and much less girly than her previous albums. There is definitely a hint of Butterfly Boucher, who co-produced the album, in each song. Her influence lingers in the stripped back nature of her tracks with nonchalant, deeper vocals, contrastingly less upbeat to her previous hits.

Three tracks in particular aptly get under the skin. Firstly, “Everyone’s Waiting” digests cloudiness in one’s perception of self, featuring the lyric ‘I know all the lines to say/the part I’m expected to play/but in the reflection I am worlds away.’ Reflections of the inability to find inner peace on the tightrope between expectations of self and reality.

Meanwhile, “Temporary Love” eats away at the walls people put up toward new love: ‘You are doing something, underneath my skin/I never meant to let you get so far in’, finds Higgins attempting to ignore feelings for fear of being hurt.

Lastly, “If I”m Honest” harnesses the suppressed feelings many conceal for past lovers, feelings which cannot be expressed to them due to fears of falling back in.

Higgins has definitely unbuttoned her sleeves and released more delicious truths for us to munch on as we cry ourselves to sleep over a past lover (NOT!). She has reached deeper into her core and pulled out a couple of diamonds.

– Nicola Mitchell