REVIEW: 'Testament' - All Saints

REVIEW: ‘Testament’ – All Saints

Written by The Lazy Music Reviewer

This is the latest review by the Lazy Music Reviewer. He is too busy listening to and promoting lots of awesome music (ahem and has a full time job) that he simply doesn’t have time to do an in-depth review (or maybe he is just not a good enough writer to write one – you decide) but he still wants to “review”.

So, the way he works is he will sum up each song in just a few words (sometimes even one word – he’s just that lazy) and then also link via other people’s words to other more in depth reviews (because he’s wicked and he’s lazy) for your reading pleasure because it’s always good to get more than one person’s opinion, right?

All Saints are a girl group formed in London in 1993. They were founded as All Saints by members Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis and Simone Rainford. The group struggled to find commercial success upon being signed to ZTT Records and were dropped by the label shortly after Rainford left the group. In 1996 the group were joined by sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton and signed to London Records under their shortened name.

The group’s debut album, All Saints (1997), peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and went on to become the third best-selling girl group album of all time in the UK. The album contained three UK number ones: “Never Ever”, “Under the Bridge”/”Lady Marmalade” and “Bootie Call”. “Never Ever” is the second best-selling girl group single of all-time in the UK, behind the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”. It also won two Brit Awards: Best British Single and Best British Video, and the group were nominated for Best British Breakthrough Act. Their second album, Saints & Sinners (2000), became their first number-one album and achieved multi-platinum success. It included the UK number one singles “Pure Shores” and “Black Coffee”. Amid in-fighting among the group members, All Saints split the following year. The group later reformed after signing to Parlophone Records to release their third album, Studio 1 (2006). However, the album bowed at number 40 in the UK and All Saints were dropped by Parlophone shortly afterwards. Following a second split in 2009, the group reunited in 2014 for a series of live performances, prompting the group to sign to London for a second time for the release of their fourth album, Red Flag (2016).

All Saints are back again with their latest album “Testament” so what’s the thoughts?

1 – Who Do You Love

“Reboot!”, The Lazy Music Reviewer

The spoken word opener on “Who Do You Love” feels like a timely – if a little saccharine – nod to “Never Ever” in this pertinent anniversary year, although that’s where the comparison ends“, The Independent

“are All Saints harking back to the infamous spoken-word bit that opened their classic 1997 single Never Ever, or setting the scene for an attempt at a Beyoncé-style Serious Album”, The Guardian

2 – Three Four

Not MY All Saints, sorry“, The Lazy Music Reviewer

low-slung groove salutes their R&B roots“, Gay Times

fusing lofi synth electro with traditional soul and R&B in one of the standout tracks of the album“, The Independent

3 – Love Lasts Forever

as will my enjoyment of this track – I freakin’ love it!“, The Lazy Music Reviewer

the four piece are left eating dust by breathless drum’n’bass breakdowns“, The Guardian

shimmering single, an instant All Saints classic“, Gay Times

4 – Nowhere To Hide (Interlude)

no one is a fan of an interlude, right?“, The Lazy Music Reviewer

5 – No Issues

I think you do though“, The Lazy Music Reviewer

pummelled by weirdly incessant tribal drums“, The Guardian

an anthemic electro bop“, Gay Times

6 – After All

are you taking me to the beach, I loved it there“, The Lazy Reviewer

intimate and rueful, with the chorus equivalent of a window being opened on a boiling day – it’s a rare moment of genuine emotion“, The Guardian

a supremely dreamy ballad studded with (but not dominated by) Orbit’s trademark swirls and gurgles“, Gay Times

7 – I Would

you really should!“, The Lazy Reviewer

bubbles with lush harmonies and easy-going, ecstatic electronics“, The Arts Desk

8 – Don’t Look Over Your Shoulder

smoooooth!“, The Lazy Music Reviewer

sweet old-fashioned Eighties-style soul-pop“, The Arts Desk

feels like it came from a different album entirely, bland balladry“, The Independent

9 – Fumes

kids – don’t inhale the fumes, just listen to the song!“, The Lazy Music Reviewer

adds some skittish trip-hop to the mix“, Gay Times

The Middle Eastern tinges and portentous cries are baffling“, The Guardian

10 – Testament In Motion

tears are gone out to sea and washed away – says it all really!“, The Lazy Reviewer

it’s “Pure Shores” reborn, not a pastiche but that same floaty sun-blissed mood, run through with All Saints feistiness“, The Arts Desk

probably the most unashamed nod to their Nineties roots“, The Independent

11 – Breathe and Let Go (Interlude)

Natalie, Nicole, Shaznay and Mel – please refer to track 4, thank you please“, The Lazy Reviewer

12 – Glorious

oh hello anthem“, The Lazy Reviewer

clearly intended as a feminist rallying cry à la Little Mix and Beyoncé, but comes off more like a cringey musical number about female empowerment“, The Guardian

When they sing “yeah you know that we are glorious – we’re not ordinary” on the album’s penultimate track, it’s hard not to think, “Damn right, ladies“, Gay Times

13 – Footprints

you had me at 5 seconds!“, The Lazy Reviewer

“a sentiment of happiness that pass all the barriers with an exceptional use of harmonies and intertwined vocals“, Vibes Of Silence

What are your thoughts? Can you sum this album up in one sentence? Go on – be lazy, you know you want to!

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