David’s back and this time around, he’s casting his critical eye over the new Anastacia album, ‘Evolution’.
Since she made her debut back in 2000, Anastacia’s powerful voice has been heard the world over.
With hit songs like ‘I’m Outta Love’, ‘One Day In Your Life’ and ‘Left Outside Alone’, her brand of powerful and soulful pop alongside a very identifiable voice means she’s a huge asset to the music world.
Her seventh studio album (and first in three years), ‘Evolution’, is just that; an evolution of her sound.
Let’s start with the stuff I love. First and foremost, her voice is as commanding as ever. While it can polarise people, I think it’s what makes her unique and I love it. She can sing pretty much anything and it sounds stunning.
Where Anastacia shines the most is on big, dramatic ballads or ballsy rock-pop tunes.
On album opener ‘Caught In The Middle’ the hook is catchy and gets stuck in your head. It’s radio friendly, sounds current without following a trend and highlights Anastacia’s knack for creating great songs.
Of course she’s engaged with some great writers out of Sweden and Norway, which is why everything sounds so polished. She has worked with some of my favourites (Sam Watters & Louis Biancaniello), who have written heaps of power ballads during their time as a song-writing duo and for Anastacia previously, including the previously mentioned ‘I’m Outta Love’ and ‘One Day In Your Life’. Their work on ‘Reckless’ is a good reminder of their power ballad prowess. That’s one of the differences between Anastacia and a lot of other pop artists right now; she is still keen to do a big schmaltzy ballad.
I love ‘My Everything’, which has high cheese factor but in a good way. Her voice and the arrangements complement songs like this and I love it.
‘Not Coming Down’ is by far my favourite song of the album. There’s something really addictive about listening to it and I often find myself playing it a few times in a row. It’s the ideal mid-tempo pop tune that I feel won’t date over time.
What I struggle with are the more rocky tunes like ‘Boxer’ or ‘Redlight’, which are fine for album tracks and I am sure would be amazing live, but just don’t do it for me. I think these songs will date the most and for an album talking about ‘Evolution’ it just doesn’t add up.
Since its release, the album hasn’t set the charts alight, which is a shame because for someone who has been around as long as Anastacia has and is as talented as she is, she deserves every success that comes her way.
I love that we have new material to add to her catalogue and for the most part, this is a great release.
If her tour comes around to a town near you, do yourself a favour and get tickets because vocally, she can still knock your socks off.
VERDICT : 3/5.
MUST LISTEN : Caught In The Middle, My Everything, Not Coming Down.