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When metal goes pop! Kim Wilde and Lisa Stansfield reviewed for earMUSIC

There are times when a curve ball is thrown in your direction. One of our media partners earMUSIC is known, typically, for providing us with rock and metal releases to review. So when the latest two albums from pop starlets Kim Wilde and Lisa Stansfield arrived, we have to recheck the address label and see if we were really the intended recipients. It transpires that we were… As such, two of our intrepeid reviewers knuckled down and provided reviews for albums somewhat outside of their comfort zone. 

Take it away… 

Deeper – Lisa Stansfield

Released by: earMUSIC

Genre: POP, JAZZ, DANCE, MOTOWN & NORTHERN SOUL

Release date: April 6 2018

Tracklisting:
1. Everything
2. Twisted
3. Desire
4. Billionaire
5. Coming Up For Air
6. Love Of My Life
7. Never Ever
8. Hercules
9. Hole In My Heart
10. Just Can’t Help Myself
11. Deeper
12. Butterflies
13. Ghetto Heaven

When I discovered that earMUSIC had a new album to share with us all, I rolled up my sleeves, put my headbanging cap on and readied myself for some deliciously facemelting metal. Imagine my surprise when I was greeted by the soulful vocals of Lisa Stansfield instead! Deeper is Stansfield’s eighth studio album, which puts her right up with the likes of Muse and Red Hot Chilli Peppers for longevity. What do you mean she’s been making music nearly twice as long as them? Ah, okay, fair enough then.

The album as a whole is dripping with Stansfield’s signature vocals that got her where she is today, showing that time certainly hasn’t taken its toll on this star of the 90s. Deeper opens with Everything, a track that catapults the listener right back to that era in the best of ways. By the end of the first chorus you’re knee deep in big jeans and even bigger hair, strutting your stuff on the dancefloor and looking for the nearest mosh pit (or is there a disco equivalent?). The funky vibes continue in songs like Butterflies and Love of My Life, the latter of which mixes in some satisfying brass band blasts. I personally think that a heavy breakdown would work better, but perhaps this is why Lisa Stansfield is the international singer songwriter rather than me!

The album plays on with what my mum would refer to as “Sunday morning music”, throwing in lashings of jazz and Motown. If we had a just a little more riffage on there, it could’ve made its way onto my morning music, but I digress. Just Can’t Help Myself is a perfect example of this easy going style, with a nice bit of drumming livening up an otherwise chilled piano track. I’m sure Lars Ulrich would be proud!

As an album, Deeper has Stansfield’s trademark style written all over it, full of synths, beats and soulful belters, but she’s managed to mix it up a little to keep it fresh. Given the eclectic mix of genres that have been incorporated here, it’s clear to see that she’s not afraid to branch out a bit, so who knows what we could expect from future albums?

Personally, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Lzzy Hale guest vocals.

SCORE: 7/10

Reviewed by: Vikki Luff

Here Come the Aliens – Kim Wilde

Released by: earMUSIC

Genre: Pop

Release date: 16 March 2018

Tracklist:

1. 1969
2. Pop Don’t Stop
3. Kandy Krush
4. Stereo Shot
5. Yours Till The End
6. Solstice
7. Addicted To You
8. Birthday
9. Cyber.Nation.War
10. A Different Story
11. Rock The Paradiso
12. Rosetta

So, it started like this… Ed ‘I have an odd review request’, Me ‘Okay?’ Ed ‘Kim Wilde’, Me ‘Okay I’ll give it a shot’

And so here I am listening to Kim Wilde’s latest album, Here Come the Aliens. Yes it’s that Kim Wilde, Kids In America Kim Wilde, yes the Kim Wilde of the 1980’s that became a landscape gardener. Now being a child of the eighties, having been born in the year that Kids In America was released, I do have a slight guilty pleasure when it comes to eighties music, and that is what I was expecting from this album, some 80’s guitar lead pop…. and I was pleasantly disappointed. Yes, there are some songs on this album that would happily fit into the early eighties pop genre, but there are others that actually would be classed as Rock, not as heavy as Amon Amarth, or even Iron Maiden, but would happily fit in alongside Muse, and having been to several Rock and Metal festivals, Kim would definitely fit in with this album, especially when you consider the likes of The Lounge Kittens and Babymetal have played the likes of Download festival in recent years.

Here Come the Aliens opens with 1969, which if you listened to the lyrics you could be forgiven for mistaking the track name as the Album name, but on the plus side it has a strong guitar and drum bed for Kim’s Vocals, and the Vocals are just as good as they were 30 odd years ago.

Track 2, Pop Don’t Stop, is a pop track, and I had to check to wasn’t going mad… Yes, the Intro is extremely similar to a certain 1979 hit by The Buggles, so much so that I started singing along with ‘I heard you on the wireless back in fifty two’ before I realised my mistake.

The album continues in this vein, with a rather balanced mix of pop and rock, although I would prefer some more rock, and heavier rock and maybe a touch of metal, I have to remember this album isn’t marketed at me. Don’t let the track list fool you, some of the rockiest songs are the ones with the least Rock names, for example Birthday would quite happily sit alongside some alt rock/ emo tracks, and yes this one does remind me of AFI’s Miss Murder.

This album was a surprise, one that I wasn’t expecting, just because it is not from a typical Rock/ Metal artist, and could do with some more growly, screamy vocals, it is extremely rocky for a ‘Pop’ album, and considering Billy Idol is classed as rock, I cannot see any reason why Here Come The Aliens would not sit happily alongside any music lovers collection, and the plus that it also comes in Yellow Vinyl. Do Not be a rock snob, give this album a listen at least and hopefully you will enjoy it, or at the very least start singing ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’

SCORE 8/10

Reviewed by Kalli Isborne

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