Discussion in 'Steps' started by Slave, Mar 3, 2017.
Oh FUCK OFF
I think the only time the Clara foghorning reaches DO PIPE DOWN levels is the end of Neon Blue.
Go and play in traffic you fucking arsehole.
I think the first couple of weeks will be front loaded (e.g. 35k this week, down to about 9k next week I'd imagine), but I think it has a good shot of settling in around #40 and moving up and down as promo comes and goes.
June is when Story of a Heart will be sent to radio two etc. No doubt 1-2 TV performances and the video etc. I'd say they likely will become a radio two staple of the year and it should keep the album floating like 'Wanderlust' by Sophie did.
I'd be aiming more for a Rick Astley-esque result at this stage, but it depends very much where we go forward from this week...
Have they said which version of Story of a Heart they'll be releasing as the single?
I can't get enough of "Happy" at the moment
It's bound to be the album version rather than the remix. The remix is better, but they've done well enough with the Radio 2 crowd and will want to show a different angle to the album (even though it doesn't have anything like that)
I'd say the normal version to radio two and for shits and giggles send the remix to Heat/Gaydio/Capital.
Doubt they'll pick it up, but worth a shot. The video can be the same as well, just one with a remix.
I've been meaning to do this for a while now. My rate:
Scared Of The Dark - 10
The perfect, perfect comeback single for them. It manages to sound unmistakably like Steps whilst also sounding like nothing they've released before. That key change is like the aural rebirth of POP MUSIC whilst the ashes of all the DREK we've had to put up with for years comes crashing down around it.
You Make Me Whole - 8
This reminds me a bit of notable b-side 'Stop Me From Loving You'. I love the boys making the most of their "we don't need no-one to TELL US" line and the middle-eight breakdown. I like this, but I don't LOVE it - it's just sort of THERE.
Story Of A Heart - 10
Oh good grief, this is just SUBLIME. Essentially 'It's The Way You Make Me Feel' part II - I know the whole "Benny and Björn wrote this for us*" schtick is supposed to give it a sense of credibility but quite frankly this is the sort of song that the group could easily have recorded 15 years ago and for that fact alone it needs no excuses or apologies. It's bloody BRILLIANT, ad-libs and all - and fuck that tease ending, I expect one more rousing chorus every single time.
*Lisa Scott-Lee (2017)
Happy - 7.5
Love the BBC News-esque intro (it's just missing the pips) but this is another that is just sort of THERE. The verses remind me of a modern Madonna song, but that might just be the crow-ish "Almost there now...YEAH" halfway through.
No More Tears On The Dancefloor - 8.5
If I could change one thing about this song, it would be to move the chorus from the start and have the song instead rip open with the disco pastiche beat. I'm not sure I'd want it as a single, but I think this will work really well as a visual number (it's a shoe-in for the tour). The middle-eight breakdown and build up into the final chorus with Claire bellowing over the top really is a thing of beauty.
Firefly - 5
Now, I know everyone was wanting 'Scared Of The Dark' for Eurovision, but I think this song is probably the most Eurovision sounding on the album. This hasn't really clicked with me yet...a lot of it sounds like Steps going through the motions. It's got plenty of energy but it's a bit stop-start and never quite seems to get to where it wants to be.
Space Between Us - 9
A song led by H and Lee is pretty much everything I DIDN'T want from a new Steps album but hey, this is actually quite GOOD. It's quite a welcome change of pace, it's summery and I think it sounds quite radio-friendly (not that I want them to even think about going down that route). I do love the auto-tune almost audibly CREAKING under Lee's voice
Glitter & Gold - 10
Listen, you all know about my dodgy history with 'Deeper Shade Of Blue' and 'You'll Be Sorry' isn't right up there with my favourites, so a song sounding like the lovechild of those two filled me with dread. Imagine my surprise then that it's actually BLOODY BRILLIANT. I love the classic little Steps crash sound effect at the start of the chorus and the middle-eight breakdown actually sounds like the "far, far, far, far, so far away" vocal echo from the DSOB W.I.P. Mix (the superior version of the song in every sense).
Neon Blue - 10
This was the first track I properly fell in love with on the album. The lyrics are just PERFECT ("I know that you remember when you hear the music play, all those times together baby don't say its too late" gets me EVERY time) and the chorus really is just properly arms-aloft JOY. Not that I want them to split up again, but this is the perfect swansong track.
I Will Love Again - 9
I'll probably be shot for saying this but whilst I love this song and I think it is a good fit for them, it feels quite reductive to have a song that literally sounds like it stepped out of the gay club scene circa 2002/2003 just plopped on the end of the album when so much effort has gone into the rest of the album trying to position Steps for 2017 - an approach that very much works. It's only one song so it's not exactly a disaster and they get away with it (and it IS bloody marvellous) but it's the one song that feels like a vote of no-confidence at the group's ability to transition into 2017 by recording a gay-interest only number that isn't even akin to a sound they were associated with in the first place. But maybe I'm just over-thinking it.
Overall, the album is FAR better than it has any right to be. For a group so heavily tied to the late '90s and a music scene that was very much "of its time" (even when pop re-exploded in 2009, it was not the same pop from a decade earlier), they've really done a sterling job in playing to their strengths (ie. not the boys) and not treating their fanbase like idiots and dishing out cold leftovers from 2002.
No. No-one knows that story.
For gods sake Slave, quit beating around the bush and tell us what you think
If you don't like "Deeper shade of blue" any other opinions are VOID
"Happy" is immense
But Experienced is the better track!!!
I agree with parts, but not all.
Mainly Firefly getting a five (have a word), and the whole I Will Love Again write up I pretty much disagree with wholeheartedly. The original is very Steps old school to a tee I reckon (Claire-led upbeat Steps that is) and I couldn't think of a more perfect closing track.
A good read though, Scared of the Dark and Neon Blue are on point.
Euro dance pop isn't really my go-to genre but I still really liked this album.
My favourite thing about this album is that it feels nostalgic without sounding dated. That's not easy to do.
10 Scared of the Dark
08 You Make me Whole
06 Story of a Heart - Too saccharine. Guessed it was Abba before even looking it up.
07 Happy - The chorus could have been better.
06 No more Tears on the Dance Floor - Oh! A guy sings!
04 Space Between Us - I don't like this.
09 Glitter and Gold - This is really good. The production suits the lyrics. Quite possible the gayest song title ever
07 Neon Blue - Again, too saccharine, but still fun.
08 I Will Love Again - Until a year or so ago I forgot this song even existed. So this is welcome.
Time for my first listen party. Let's GO!
Oh this'll be good
It's not saccharine AT ALL though, hence being classic ABBA.
I was SAFE and WARM
And now I'm OUT in the COLD
And I know I shouldn't have TOLD my STORY...
And as if that wasn't enough:
Never given up
I look for you everywhere
Time went by and SADNESS took the place of DESPAIR
In a way you'll stay with me 'til DEATH do us part
Like a SHADOW deep in my heart FOREVER
I'm going to give it a couple of spins before rating. I've already got stuck on a second play through of "Story Of A Heart"
Lisa's verse really is something else in that. She actually does it justice.
Come on Chrissy, I want STATS
The lyrics to "Story of A Heart" always did DEVASTATE me. It very much hit home about MR NAVY and it was out just at the right (wrong) time. Chrissy's passage of choice was always the one that resonated with me but I am personally annoyed the Steps version has made me realise the lyrics in the chorus aren't
Story of a heart, a story, all of it mine
And you took it from me, every glorious night
It's a brilliant song and I think one of B&B's best.
The original Swedish version makes more of the fact that the singer is talking about a particular summer in the past but the "I wish someone else was going through this rather than me" sentiment is almost even more bittersweet.
Well that was the worst First Listen Party EVER!
Anyone criticising 'Story Of A Heart' for being saccharine clearly isn't listening to it.
I quite like the notion that people are choosing it as a wedding song
I RAN OUT OF TIME
I shall restart my PARTY today.
Neon Blue is a 10 on a bad day
It's the new 'I Will Always Love You' for the gays!
So here we go...
11 Scared Of The Dark
- An absolutely killer slab of power pop and the song I always dreamed Steps should come back with but that I never imagined would actually happen. Disco strings, Foghorn Claire, a gear crunching key change. What's not to like?
08 You Make Me Whole
- Back to earth for this one. It's a lesser effort but still very catchy and blessed with a lovely tune. The bit before the chorus sounds like something else but who cares?
10 Story Of A Heart
- I think my views are clear on this one. Those lyrics! Those chord changes! That final verse..! It's simply GLORIOUS. I do think the Benny Anderson Orkester version is ever so slightly better because of Helen Sjöholm's ad-libs at the end. Bit of a shame that Claire didn't copy those, they really elevate the original. The bits where the music (twice!) drops out near the end is probably going to turn out to be one of my favourite moments in pop.
- A bit of a banger and quite nice. It's hardly essential but I do like it.
08 No More Tears On The Dance Floor
- Oh, here we go! The opening gambit is pretty attention grabbing and even an H lead vocal on the verses can't spoil this. It could do with a bit of a beef up production wise but it's still a yes from me.
- I was hoping for an A*Teens cover here but sadly no. In fact, a whole album of Steps covering the A*Teens classics wouldn't be a bad idea at all... Anyway, this is very nice for what it is. I'm assuming it's Faye and Lisa giving it their all on the vocals, presumably done when Claire popped down to Dominos to pick up a Two-For-One-Tuesdays special offer.
08 Space Between Us
- MORE H?! And LEE?!?! But who cares, this is a nice little mid-tempo chugger and I rather like it. I doubt this will get any airtime on the tour though.
09 Glitter And Gold
- This is corking! The melody moves around all over the place but yet still feels very familiar. This is nudging a 10 for me and I suspect I will probably be caning it in months to come.
10 Neon Blue
- OH OH OH! This is LIFE CHANGINGLY good. More power pop but a clear notch above the songs that have come before. Kylie would have dumped this onto a b-side or into her by now quite ridiculously large vaults but Steps did the right thing by popping this on here. It's perfectly sequenced in the album too and, like all the very best pop songs, just doesn't feel long enough and seems to be cut off in its prime. #discosmiley
09 I Will Love Again
- What a closer! The kind of song that reminds you how much fun you've had listening to the album and makes you want to go straight back to the first song and play the album all over again.
Well, WHAT an album. I can't believe we're here in 2017 discussing an incredibly decent new Steps album but it is quite thrilling that we are. S Club must be SEETHING and wondering where they went wrong. It's hard to call which of these songs will be incorporated into this Autumn's shows but they've got a really rich vein to tap.
I noticed on Sunday that S Club THREE are charging TWENTY TWO POUNDS to see them at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern next month. Good luck with that.
Even if RAQUEL was in tow (she's obviously not), I'd hesitate.
They're doing Hoopla too which will give me my QUEENa fix
I saw that To be fair, I paid £30 for them in about 2011 when they came down under.
But it really highlights the difference in the acts - Steps have 22 arena dates and a #2 album of new material while S Club are down to 3 and showing up at the RVT on weeknights. Bloody HELL.
I never saw S Club in the same league as Steps anyway. They never seemed polished
Who ARE the 3 now?
They weren't quite as big album wise, were they? And certainly not as polished an act, even with LSL waddling about in the background...
I think they're interchangeable depending on who's available. But Jo and Bradley are usually guaranteed.
Gladys, Brenda and Sho-lene.
Jo, Bradley and Fire songstress Dame Tina Barrett.
The singer, the dancer, the TALANT