wed 08/02/2023

CD: Fleur East – Love, Sax and Flashbacks | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Fleur East – Love, Sax and Flashbacks

CD: Fleur East – Love, Sax and Flashbacks

The X Factor alumni shows that she has sax appeal

Lean back: Fleur's bringing home the bacon

Recently, after listening to the over-polished tryhard that is Justin Bieber’s Purpose, I concluded that it was no Off the Wall. That still stands, but Love Sax and Flashbacks, the debut from Fleur East has a bloody good (horn) stab at providing us with a passable impression of it. A bit karaoke perhaps, but fuck it, karaoke’s fun. Or so I’m told.

Fleur East is, as you may know, part of the X Factor alumni. Her key moment on the show was a rendition of "Uptown Funk" and album opener "Sax" sounds like the brief was: ‘Something like "Uptown Funk", but not "Uptown Funk". But really like "Uptown Funk". Unless you’ve been in a panic room awaiting the start of World War Three, you’ll already know this though – the bloody thing is everywhere.

It is, of course, the best thing here, but not by the measure you might expect. Despite some underwhelming mo-meh-nts ("Breakfast", "More and More") there’s much to like. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t music that’s going to change the world, but it categorically couldn’t give a shit – it’s way too busy having fun. It does everything that good pop should, and it does it surprisingly well.

“Gold Watch” is cut from the same cloth as “Sax” and has single written all over it, including, as it does, a catchy-as-hell refrain that references both a primary school game and a nursery rhyme in the sort of joyful celebration that Robbie Williams thought he’d nailed in his terminal misfire “Candy”.

Heavy funk loops give “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” and “Like That” enough weight for them to be able to more than bear their pop confection frosting and East’s comfortable, if not massively challenging, flow. Meanwhile, “Baby Don’t Dance” brings the 45 King’s “The 900 Number” out of retirement for one last jump around the block.

What I’m trying to say is that I rather like this. I’m also trying really hard to forget that Simon Cowell has any involvement. Pop album of the year? Not sure, but I’ll take Fleur East over Adele any day of the week.



Love, Sax and Flashbacks does everything that good pop should, and it does it surprisingly well


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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