MIssy Higgins

Missy Higgins.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Her Majesty's Theatre, June 16

HER years in the wilderness have clearly rejuvenated Missy Higgins. Radiantly blonde of hair and sparkly of frock, she fell into the open arms of her home audience with the almost dizzy relief of a beloved princess returning from self-imposed exile.

''We love you Missy!'' was an oft-repeated cry from the dark.

While the depth of that feeling was real and not lightly dismissed, it was soon clear Higgins' dramatically delayed third act is more reaffirmation than reinvention.

Soul-mining titles such as If I'm Honest are hardly geared to kick against the sensitive confessional pigeonhole that stifled her muse the first time around. Intense introspection is her curse and stock in trade.

Set Me On Fire and Everybody's Waiting echoed directly from the abyss of writer's block and depression that stalled and informed her new album, The Ol' Razzle Dazzle, which got loved all the way to No. 1 last week. The slightly sassy stomp of Hello Hello was a minor exception to a default arm-waving tempo and a plaintive tonal palette abetted rather than transformed by her new Nashville ensemble, and best described by an older tune: ''warm honey and milk''.

The sole truly fresh blast was the electronic snap of Unashamed Desire, co-written and effectively delivered in tandem with bassist Butterfly Boucher.

Boucher's earlier support slot was the storm before the calm, half a dozen songs from her exceptional new album that reached out rather than inwards for our love.