ALL SAINTS ALL SAINTS LONDON RECORDS

Nicole, Melanie, Natalie and Shanzay conjure up their own brand of soulful funk dance music, aiming to be the new (but better) Spice Girls (with attitude and class apparently), attempting, to avoid the exploitation, but capitalising on their looks and talent (well, that’s what they say), Their first collection of ditties is a mixture of hits and misses, catchy at times, instantly forgettable at other times.

Sometimes they sound like second rate 70’s diva’s, while they manage on other tracks to successfully come across as classy talented soulsters (How much of that is down to them /down to record company/ production……who knows?….your guess is as good as mine). The production is slick, the vocals glossy, clean and crisp, but too many times they let down a naff annoying backing instrumentation (although a lot of that is their fault as they apparently wrote most of the songs).

They can compose some decent songs as has been proved by ‘I Know Where It’s At’, ‘Never Ever‘, but unfortunately for the girls, these are the strongest two tracks on the album. The only strong tracks actually. Their reworking of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers excellent ‘Under The Bridge‘ is reasonable, without being spectacular, while pass marks go to the likes of ‘Lets Get Started’, ‘War Of Nerves‘ and ‘Trapped, but this album is best utilised as background music, without paying too much attention to it.

Am I a cynical, negative bugger? Probably, but I remain to be convinced of their ‘talents’ and staying power. Undoubtedly, this album is better than the rank rotten Spice Girls (if truth be told, could anything be worse than Stuck-up Spice and co.?), but as far as end of first term reports goes, it should read ‘Could do Better – Much Better’.

Taken From our Fanzine Scotland Calling