Louise – “Heavy Love”
Nineteen, yes 19 years since her last studio album (“Elbow Beach”), former Eternal member Louise Redknapp/Nurding returns with her fourth solo career album. It’s been a long time coming. A long time. Over the past twelve months, ‘Lou’ has been tempting us with numerous tracks released. In fact, the album should of been released last Autumn, but was delayed. Thankfully, it’s finally here. So let’s see what she has for us…
Lou’s new album opens with the lead single that marked her return to music after so many years ‘in retirement’. The song is very bubbly, in fact you can hear the bubbles pop throughout this simplistic pop beat with its sexy groove and Lou’s clear and innocent vocals that are instantly recognisable. “Lead Me On” was the second taster of this new album from last year. The track is much more jolly with its cool Summer beat and a chorus that’s a riot of colour. Clicking fingers will make you forget to ask Lou why she’s indeed leading you on over and over!
More smooth grooves with “Breaking Back Together” which is a more down-tempo ballad style number, while “Not The Same” harks back to so many tracks from her debut album (“Goodbye To Love”) was back in the mid-90’s. “I know every single detail. I know your skin” sings Louise at the start of “Small Talk”, an intimate number which perhaps details the final years and breakup of her marriage. The ballad “Hurt” is the most recent track to be released and redresses the balance of positive thought and giving in to love when you know it’s the right thing to do.
“Hammer” starts exactly like “Naked” and continues in the same vein, it could almost be the same track or even part two, twenty four years on. Time for a ballad and “Just A Minute” allows Lou to offload some more angst before she continues to slow and sexy pace with “Wonder Woman”, not a homage to the 1970’s TV character, but a lament to lost love. “Remember when you used to call me wonder woman?” she wails and you can hear the tension and sadness in her voice as she does so. The oddly titled “Hands On The Sink” takes the pace up while the gospel-tinged “Give You Up” is another (like so many tracks on this album) to be stripped back with very little instrumentation that relys just on vocal and harmony to gain acceptance.
“Straight To My Heart” has a lovely vibe and with plenty of “yea, yea, yea”‘s this will have you jumping for joy that Louise is back. Yes, she’s back! In “Villain”, Lou states her case that she is not the guilty party. “I’m not hurting anyone, no” she makes clear on more than one occasion. She ain’t no villain. You decide… More simplistic and easy on the ear sounds come from “Settle For Nothing” and it’s from here that Louise needs to move on. Put the past behind her and get on with life. The album closes with the piano ballad “Wrong” in which Louise concludes “I should of fixed it before it became so unfixable”. Bless. It’s a sweet if sour tasting number with a melancholy message to be taken away and noted for future reference.
After so long away, Louise ‘blesses’ us with a 15 track long player, many of them having been released already, but with some great as yet unheard numbers to skip and play again and again. Two things stand out with this album. One, it feels like an extension to “Naked” and two, she needs to air her dirty laundry. Heartache and heartbreak reverberate time and time again, this girl really has something to get off her chest, doesn’t she! It’s only her second album of the 20th century but it’s good to have her back, especially for all those who remember her past successes with “Light Of My Life”, “Undivided Love” and “Arms Around The World”. Just don’t leave it so long next time Lou!
Stay in touch with Louise through her WEBSITE and her FACEBOOK page