Most helpful positive review
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Sophie makes a scene!
on 12 June 2011
I have to confess for having a real soft spot for Miss Ellis-Bextor and I have stuck with her through her career highs (Murder On The Dancefloor, Take Me Home) and lows (the low-charting of her second album). I have greatly enjoyed all her albums to date without exception and felt that her most recent offering 'Trip The Light Fantastic' was probably the strongest release of her career. Both of the singles that had had mainstream releases here had more than whetted my appetite and I was therefore greatly looking forward to this album and the fact its release date has been continually pushed back has only served my desire to get my hands on it. I'll do a track by track review with some of my first thoughts.
1.Revolution-What an opener, it's quirky and in-your-face and definitely starts the album with a bang. If I had to make a criticism it would be that it's reference to 'Murder On The Dancefloor' cheapens it somewhat and feels as though she is attempting to relive past glories but even this isn't enough to dampen the spirit of the song as a whole. 8/10
2.Bittersweet-The synthy second single. Sophie's distant, angsty vocals are suited to this superb Freemasons collaboration and it really did deserve a higher chart position than it gained. 9/10
3.Off & On-A Calvin Harris collaboration and it is a true album highlight. There is no doubt that this should be a single as it is truly sensational! 10/10
4.Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)-Although this song was released quite some time ago and normally I get bored of songs quite quickly this remains probably my favourite song on the entire album. The chorus is sublime and Sophie's vocals are once again very suited to this material. 10/10
5.Not Giving Up On Love- Another single and this one had the least success of those thst have been released to date. This is a shame as once again it's another great dance-pop song. 9/10
6.Can't Fight This Feeling-This is once again a brilliant song, my one criticism here would be that it sounds a little too similar to what has immediately preceeded it. If you just heard this then it would probably stand out, but in the context of the album it blends in a little. 8/10
7.Starlight-The most recent single and this is almost a 'ballad', but of course one with a pulsating beat and Sophie has always shone on this kind of tracks. Happily this is no exception and once again it's a worthy single. 9/10
8.Under Your Touch-This is probably the first track on the album which does feel a bit like filler, which is a shame because until this point it really is a filler-free track list. It's OK, it's definitely not bad, but it is forgettable. 6/10
9.Make A Scene-This song sounds completely different to anything Sophie has done before. It has an off-kilter beat, a chorus featuring a saxophone and sultry almost spoken verses. Needless to say I love it. 9/10
10.Magic-After the brilliance of the title track it would seem a hard act to follow it, but 'Magic' does it brilliantly. A really laid back, but equally melodic pop tune. The track starts off with some 'ooo ooo ooo's but it's what follows that is truly magic. 10/10
11.Dial My Number-This track is saved by a brilliant chorus in which some quirky, almost old-fashioned harmonies take centre stage. However until it reaches that point there is every chance that the track could be the second filler track. This should not be a single but it's perfectly pleasant to listen to as I say in particular the chorus. 7/10
12.Homewrecker-A superb title for a song. It doesn't quite live up to it's title, but it comes pretty close. I love the story-telling nature of this track and lyrically it is quite strong. The chorus lets down it slightly by not feeling quite as epic as it perhaps should, but overall a strong addition to the album. 8/10
13.Synchronised-The second ballad on the album and this has even more of a ballad feel than Starlight does. Sophie's vocals on the chorus are quite stunning and the chorus compliments the subtle, understated verses perfectly. The whole track is simply captivating! 10/10
14.Cut Straight To The Heart-The third and final ballad and this track has some beautiful instrumentation on it. It features Sophie's emotive vocals once again and perhaps it's only failing is not being quite as strong as 'Synchronised'. 9/10
Overall therefore Sophie has produced a coherent and quite frankly brilliant album which is (virtually!) devoid of filler. The strength of many of the tracks mean I feel unable to award it any less than five stars. For me this is up there with her best work and would be a worthy addition to any Sophie's fan, or indeed pop/dance music fan. I for one hope this hits the top ten although on the back of the performance of recent singles that seems unlikely, but at least from me it comes highly recommended!