sat 15/05/2021

CD: Lisa Stansfield - Seven | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Lisa Stansfield - Seven

CD: Lisa Stansfield - Seven

The Rochdale soulstress and sometime rave diva returns

Seven: go on, take a wild guess how many albums she's made

For those of a certain vintage, Lisa Stansfield's voice is woven into the fabric of memory.

For those of a certain vintage, Lisa Stansfield's voice is woven into the fabric of memory. Of course there was her 1989 monster single “All Around the World” (“and ay-ay-ay-ay can't find my baby”) – but just as importantly, we first heard her earlier that year on Coldcut's monumental bit of starry-eyed acid house utopianism “People Hold On”, which has been sampled, bootlegged and repurposed so many times that the tiniest inflexions of her “give a little life, give a little love” refrain are as familiar as our own faces.

Of course, she was a middle-of-the-road soul singer before that, and continued to be afterwards, descending to a nadir of over-polished, over-mannered Eighties winebar swankiness with her last album, the 2004 Trevor Horn-produced The Moment. Which is why it's gratifying that her comeback contains a lot of the gutsiest and rawest hollering that she's done in a long time. I have a sneaking suspicion that she's heard a bit of Amy Winehouse and Adele in the meantime and gone, “I'll show these whippersnappers a thing or two." For whatever reason she is in very fine voice indeed here.

The production is still way over-slick, and the playing likewise – we're in Simply Red territory here – but the songwriting is on point and there's something exuberant about the whole thing. From the opening groover “Can't Dance” to the title track's Sixties heartbreak ballad, she growls, purrs and leaps registers with aplomb, and particularly on the Sade-style slinky R&B of “The Crown” and “Love Can” it'd take quite some effort of snobbery not to get drawn in. A happy surprise.

This contains a lot of the gutsiest and rawest hollering that she's done in a long time

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

Mr Joe. I must say that your comment about "Hollering" is far from the truth. Lisa is singing from the heart and soul, cries of passion, pain, survival, love and hope. So much intensity that bursts from within her. Please repost your story and change the word from Hollering to "singing with passion". for that would be more accurate. You must be accurate dear sir. Thank you.

Is that Lisa on the cover??

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