All Saints
All Saints


2.5
average

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
January 17th, 2007 | 8 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once, All Saints were considered the credible alternative to the Spice Girls. While there's pleasure to be had here, it hasn't aged well.

I'm not entirely sure why, but when I was younger, All Saints stood out for me amongst the post-Spice Girls wave of girl groups. It might have had something to do with the fact that they reminded me a little of TLC, and yet, unlike many other groups who cribbed from CrazySexyCool (my first ever favourite album, incidentally), I didn't have to reconcile the fact that they were American (which was a stumbling block of sorts when I was younger). Or maybe it was the notion that they were far more 'authentic' - the press, for a brief period, made a big deal of them being songwriters. In fact, this lot were toted as the more serious, credible alternative to the Spice Girls an awful lot - it was their entire marketing angle, if I remember rightly. Consider the chasm now between the way the 'edgy', 'real' Sugababes and 'fluffy', 'manufactured' Girls Aloud are percieved. This was that, 7 or 8 years earlier.

So I'm sure I listened to All Saints more then any other record I owned back then. Which might make you think this holds a certain amount of weight, bringing back a lot of memories for me? Wrong.

Well, okay, maybe a little. "Never Ever" is a fantastic song; quite rightfully, it still gets a fair bit of airplay today, and I still enjoy it whenever it appears on one of those VH1 Power Ballad days or whatever. I enjoyed "Bootie Call" even before I knew what one was, and now I'm a little more worldly, I probably enjoy it more. And the cover of "Under The Bridge" isn't actually as hideous as most people make out. It's not as good as the original, sure, but in a world that's now seen the Scissor Sisters attempt "Comfortably Numb", I think this one's definitely forgivable. Maybe even enjoyable, in the right frame of mind. I certainly have moments where I'd rather listen to this version. The cover of "Lady Marmalade", on the other hand, is quite possibly the definitive version; the slightly sneering performance by Shaznay Lewis (a great singer, and always the star of this group) is a delight. Certainly far better than the monstrosity doled out a few years later by Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott et al. On these songs, it's almost tempting to compare them with Sugababes one more time.

The rest of the album is a non-event, though. Boring in the extreme. "I Know Where It's At" is the only other song worthy of mention, and that's only because it's as annoying as hell. I used to like it a lot, of course - it was the reason I asked to have this bought for me. I even own it on single. But I cringe a little whenever I hear it now. Everything else is filler, though a couple of tracks do seem like vague stabs at Britpop credibilty, driven as they are by acoustic guitars and a more high-minded lyrical bent than the rest of the album. Bear in mind, however, that when I say 'Britpop', I mean 'Cast'. There are also examples of Shaznay rapping, which simply isn't pleasant.

I still have the CD, but it's in a box without a jewel case. Clearly, this failed to make the leap from childhood infatuation to happy nostalgia, unlike the apparently less credible Spice Girls. I still enjoy the singles a lot when I hear them, but if there was ever a war between the two groups, All Saints lost it.



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user ratings (15)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Another one that came out of a too-long sound-off. This is happening too much now.

The Jungler
January 17th 2007


4827 Comments


All of I've heard off of this is the Under the Bridge cover, which I actually kind of enjoy (even though I hate RHCP).
Good review.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2007


2760 Comments


Another one that came out of a too-long sound-off.

Hah, I know how that goes. Good thing you submitted this as a review, though, instead of doing the fantastic "sound-off loophole" thingee.
Like others, I've only heard the RHCP cover, which was pretty surprising.
And as expected/usual, great review.

morrissey
Moderator
January 17th 2007


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This record really isn't great but "Never Ever" sure is.



Terrible review by anyone's standards.

Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Trolling my reviews to cover up for your comments in my Viva Hate review, I see. :p

morrissey
Moderator
January 17th 2007


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

delete delete



what comments



I was talking about Greta anyway :oThis Message Edited On 01.17.07

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2010


28964 Comments


LOOK IM HANGIN OUT WITH THE MODS

ChoccyPhilly
February 9th 2015


9153 Comments


Pure Shores came up on karaoke and it was the biggest piece of nostalgia i've ever had

Digging: Galar - De Gjenlevende



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