Natalie Imbruglia was named the sixth most naturally beautiful woman in the world in 2004. She briefly dated David Schwimmer. And she is the writer of one of the most timeless, perfectly produced and written pop songs of the 1980s and 90s. This song competes with Madonna. This song competes with Cher. “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia would even make Cyndi Lauper go up to bat. With a haunting story arch, an amazing bridge, and perfected pop-song production styles, Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn is one of the best one-hit wonders of the 1990s not for just its vocally-driven pop song production; it’s the story of “Torn.”
But the most naturally beautiful woman of 2004 has very little to do with the perfection of “Torn.” She didn’t write it. The Aussie beaut reinterpreted the perfect lyrics of a lost Los Angeles band, Edna Swap. She replaced the heavy guitar, the angsty recollection of the bridge and the too long for comfort hair of her colleagues for a freshened up, face lifted version of the song.
“I thought I saw a man brought to life; he was warm, he came around like he was dignified.” The initial heartbreak; something to cry about. A man gone wrong, lost from you, flipping the script on what you once thought two people were. “A perfect sky torn.”
“I am cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor,” she sings. And we all collectively see her, this small and skinny Australian girl with a heart filled of hate. How did you get here Natalie? How did any of us? Have you ever been in love? No, never, but I think I might have.
“And there was nothing where he used to lie” because her “inspiration has run dry.” And we’re there with her, pulling a hoodie over our heads and looking back on some tumultuous past thing. Some scary past boy or girl or body that tore open the sky. They frustrated you to the bones of your body, to the moment where even the perfect Natalie Imbruglia feels the need to rip off all her clothes and lay, chained, and cry.
We are there with you, Natalie. We are there with your strangely addicting pop song, there with you as you feel all of the things in a preserved, nearly perfect 1990s hit. Thank you, Edna, for your attempt. But only one genre has ever permanently preserved emotion for all people and generations to understand: pop music. So thank you, Natalie; we salute you.