Welcome to Poptastic Confessions! This blog is dedicated to glorious, unashamed alternative pop music! We hope to share new music with you that you might not have heard before because it is usually overlooked by the masses. Of course, we'll always encourage you to buy the music legally to support the artists. Enjoy! —Davearama, editor of Poptastic Confessions
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Thursday, April 14, 2016
Reg Flag by All Saints
Dear Poptastic Readers,
Great news: All Saints have a new album out called Red Flag and it is amazing! Go buy it today.
If you need some convincing, we have two reviews of the album! Both Norm and Ally agreed to review the album. And they didn't know the other one was reviewing it. So you get two perspectives!
All Saints – Red Flag
Release date: 8th April 2016
summer of 1997 Britain’s coolest girl group All Saints burst onto the music
scene with their self-titled debut album, featuring the era-defining number one
hits ‘Never Ever’, ‘Under The Bridge’ and ‘Bootie Call’. After racking up two further
number ones in 2000 with the William Orbit produced classics ‘Pure Shores’ and
‘Black Coffee’ from second album Saints & Sinners, tensions within the
group reached boiling point and the ladies hung up their combats in order to
pursue solo ventures.
sorting out their differences they released their criminally overlooked third
album Studio 1 in 2006 which stalled at the lower end of the Top 40, resulting
in the group being hastily dropped by Parlophone Records and an abrupt end to
their second run. Now, nearly 10 years later and 19 years after their debut,
All Saints make a triumphant return with their fourth album Red Flag.
‘One Strike’ is an instant All Saints classic. The angelic harmonies that kick
in during the first verse instantly evoke memories of ‘Pure Shores’ and the emotive
lyrics reinforce what an underrated songwriter Shaznay is. ‘One Woman Man’ is crying
out to be the next single with its melodic verses and anthemic chorus. ‘Make U Love Me’ is perhaps the closest this album gets to the All Saints of old and wouldn’t
have sounded out of place on the Saints & Sinners album – it’s no
surprise to learn that Shaznay kept this song under wraps for her bandmates.
‘Summer Rain’ showcases Shaznay’s higher vocal register and her ability to write a
catchy chorus, whilst the dark and moody ‘This Is A War’ reminds us that All Saints
are at their finest when it comes to singing about matters of the heart. ‘Who
Hurt Who’ is a gorgeous piano-led ballad and Natalie’s shining moment on the
album. ‘Puppet On A String’ takes the tempo right back up and could easily be a
Top 10 hit in today’s charts with its catchy hooks and thumping beat. The deep
and enchanting ‘Fear’ is one of the album’s highlights and leads us into its
exciting and experimental final quarter.
Behaviour’ is a summery dancehall smash, which needs to be cranked to full volume
to be truly appreciated, segueing into the title track ‘Red Flag’ that keeps
up the pace with its hard baseline, handclap-led hook and storming chorus.
‘Tribal’ with its worldly atmospheric vibe takes All Saints into uncharted
territory, proving that these ladies won’t be satisfied with churning out the
same tried-and-tested formula of old. ‘Pieces’ then wraps up the album in
suitably epic style with a classic All Saints ballad.
Overall, Red Flag is All Saints most creative and sophisticated body of work and after
nearly 20 years in (and out of) the music industry it stands strong as their
finest output to date. It’s no wonder that the likes of Coldplay are singing
their praises – one thing All Saints has always stood for is quality music and
it doesn’t get any better than this. Roll on album #5.
by Norm Hayes (@_Normski)
And now for Ally's review ... a second opinion.
All Saints - Red Flag (London Records)
Supposedly the cooler rivals to the Spice Girls back in the glory days, I often felt All Saints, as talented as they were, had huge hit singles
(including 5 UK #1s) but the albums never really hit the spot, a mishmash of
ideas that sagged underneath the hits.
Fast forward to 2016, Two multi-platinum albums & 2006s ill-fated Studio 1 (Which is actually a decent record) behind them, they have
defied all expectations of the general public, comebacks either go one way or
the other, and this is their "Take That Moment."
To say Red Flag is a great album is a mighty understatement, this album
has balls, vulnerability, confidence and most importantly everything else that
made them great in the first place the attitude and fire is still there in
Shaznay's lyrics, particularly "One Man Woman", whilst only track two on the album
is the records centerpiece with its massive tribal beats and colossal chorus,
this is destined to be a massive hit single, it also sets the pace for the
New single "This Is A War" has power too, although not quite enough hook
or power as "One Strike" or "One Woman Man" to become a hit in its own right, its
fate will be apparent in the coming weeks on the UK Official Chart, where "One Strike" has only started to make waves inside the chart itself.
Elsewhere, "Who Hurt Who" is a delicate slow song that shows theres a lot
more to All Saints than confidence or attitude.
Red Flag isn't so much a statement than a triumphant return, a huge
welcome back to Shazney & Co. — the best is yet to come.
Album review byAlly Bowie Red Flag is available on digital outlets everywhere. Buy your copy today! It is fantastic! —Davearama