The convoluted backstory behind this long-delayed album gives you a pretty good idea of what went wrong. Back in 2006, Dobson was days away from releasing her second album, Sunday Love, when Universal suddenly got cold feet and dropped both her and the album. Four years later, she's back with her old label, and after moving the release date back multiple times, they have an album they think they can promote. And that's the problem.
Despite never having been released commercially, the leaked album got some fairly positive reviews, but now all the charming rough edges have been polished away, and most of the catchy pop-punk hooks are buried in what someone in a boardroom must have imagined was radio-friendly production gloss. There's a handful of good guitar-fuelled anthems, but they're grossly outnumbered by bland mid-tempo pop tunes that go nowhere. Maybe a mixed-race rocker chick from Scarborough is a tough thing for a major label to know how to market, but trying to turn her into a third-rate Rihanna is not the answer.
Top track: Joy