British pop superstars Steps last week released ‘Tears On The Dancefloor’, their first album of originals since 2000’s ‘Buzz’.
Yes, it’s currently on track to knock Ed Sheeran off this week’s No.1 spot in the UK, but is it any good?
David gets his reviewing chops stuck in.
There’s something about nostalgia that always draws people in.
Music creates memories that are about a time and place and can bring back a moment in time in a matter of a few chords.
That’s why when Steps announced a brand new album, single and tour I may have lost my mind (along with many other Steps fans the world over). But more on my nostalgia later.
‘Tears On The Dancefloor’ has been dubbed the album we’d expect from Steps in 2017 and I cannot disagree with the statement.
This album is pure pop, isn’t chasing any trends and is filled with some great songs (and opportunities to add some new dance routines to their repertoire). There are no sad ballads here, but a healthy dose of “sad-pop”, as I like to call it.
The lead single is disco-pop madness at it’s best. It has a key-change for goodness sake!
‘Scared Of The Dark’ is one of the best lead singles I’ve heard this year and it shows just why Steps were so popular and continue to be to this day. It’s great to hear Claire and Faye’s vocals soaring over a great pop tune again too.
Another cracking tune comes courtesy of half of ABBA (!!!!!).
‘Story Of A Heart’ was made for Steps to sing even though it was written for one of Benny & Bjorn’s other projects originally.
Steps have long been compared to the pop supergroup, but this track brings those comparisons to life once more. Not since ‘Another You, Another Me’ has Claire sounded so confident on her vocals and the way she and Faye share the task of telling the story is fabulous. The final 27 seconds of the song showcases what underpins every Steps song; brilliant vocals arranged beautifully.
Now remember that nostalgia I spoke about earlier? Well I’m going to indulge myself for a moment as ‘Story Of A Heart” brought back a huge memory for me in the form of its similarity to ‘One For Sorrow’.
I have sung that track since I was a kid and it was because of Steps that I found my voice. In actual fact, I owe a lot to Claire in particular.
The final chorus of ‘One For Sorrow’ features some big belting vocals from her and I spent many a days finding my own voice to that song, so thank you Claire.
But the other reason I go back to ‘One For Sorrow’ and compare it to ‘Story Of A Heart’ is because of the feeling it provokes.
They are a complementary pair of perfect pop tunes. Well done to everyone involved in bringing this song to life.
Back to this album, however, and Lee gets a chance at a verse on ‘No More Tears On The Dancefloor’ while H gets to take the lead on ‘Space Between Us’.
We also get to hear Lisa strutting her pop chops throughout; it’s really great to hear all of them coming together to celebrate great music.
What don’t I like? It’s only 10 songs long! Steps albums of past have offered us 15 songs (or thereabouts). And while I appreciate we have quality over quantity here, I am left longing for more.
With a few cover versions mixed in, it feels like a friend you haven’t seen for a while but only has a few minutes to spend with you before jetting off.
I can only hope the success of this album will bring us another album of amazing material in the future.
Yes, there has been little promotion in Australia, but there is still a very large fan base here.
I know they are being met with excitement back in the UK, but send a little love our way won’t you, Steps?
We’re not scared of the dark and you are definitely not better best forgotten here.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : Scared Of The Dark, Story Of A Heart, Happy, Space Between Us, Glitter & Gold.