[11 February 2010]
While Dilana finished as a runner-up on Rock Star: Supernova in 2006, to suggest she’s taken her sweet time getting Inside Out together isn’t quite the case. Although the South African singer jumped in with both feet in bringing this release to fruition, a series of setbacks—including the dissolution of the record company she signed to and taking the rights to the master recordings with it—delayed its release until Kabunk Records stepped up. Kabunk purchased the rights to release the album digitally. In the end, it appears Dilana will have the last laugh, crafting an ultimately more satisfying album than Rockstar: Supernova’s disappointing 2007 debut.
Having performed as a globe-trotting troubadour with music taking her from South Africa to the Netherlands and finally the United States, it’s no surprise Dilana serves up an eclectic batch of side dishes with hard rock as the main course. Possessing a powerful whiskey-and-honey voice reminiscent of Tina Turner and Melissa Etheridge, Dilana can pull off country-inflected ditties (“The Question”, on which Motley Crue’s Mick Mars contributes a distorted slide guitar solo); bluesy-punk tunes (“My Drug”); or upbeat, hard-edged pop (on her version of “Holiday”, a song American Idol contestant Alison Iraheta covered, true to Dilana’s original)equally. Several songs have a hard rock-tinged folk feel to them, building off of her folky 2000 release, Wonderfool. On Inside Out, Dilana maximizes her strong, soulful voice to add dimension to her thoughtful lyrics chronicling global and personal struggles, as well as kicking out rocking party-rock jams.