Who is Dami Im as an artist? That is what I found myself questioning when listening to her first full length studio album. “Heartbeats” is a confusing mixture of pop and synths that sees her ditching her strong points and experimenting in a sound the doesn’t completely suit her. Watching Dami Im dominate last year’s season of The X Factor Australia you would know that she excels when delivering power ballads and is 100% comfortable performing them. Dance tracks, not so much. However this album is dominated by upbeat pop/dance tracks that the record company have clearly encouraged. We don’t really get to hear her belt it out with a simple piano accompaniment, which is a major loss. When imagining a Dami Im album I expected a collection of incredible power ballads that would challenge the likes of Adele and it’s nowhere close.
Opening with her singles “Super Love”, ‘Gladiator” and “Living Dangerously” she reinforces that this will be a bubblegum pop influenced record. “Without You” is a single waiting to be released and is a step forward in the direction she should be heading toward with its intimate moments and vocal range. “Moment Just Like This” and “Beauty In The World” deliver cheesy, bubblegum pop tracks that deserve the skip button quickly. She’s a mature married woman who shouldn’t be singing the lyrics “shake your booty boys and girls for the beauty in the world”, it’s just plain cringe worthy. The album provides hope with the synth based power ballad “Speak Up” which sees her revisiting the sound she should be gravitating toward. Her vocals shine on this track and show the raw unique power in her vocal range. “One More Time” is a fun pop track that suits her extremely well and should have become a single over “Living Dangerously” as it’s commercially more suited. “Let Go” and “Heart Beats Again” are easily forgettable but aren’t as cheesy as other tracks on this record. The deluxe edition provides four extra songs that are 10x better than the majority of the songs on the standard album. The production on the songs isn’t as forced and comes more naturally while lyrically they’re also stronger.
“Heart Beats” is a mediocre pop album that fails to deliver that spark but next time Dami Im should strip it back and allow her natural talent to once again wow listeners.