Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown is the 2003 second album from Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Shoot From The Hip
Having adored her first album (Read My Lips), the singles, and all the remixes her label could throw at me, I found this album hard to buy.
The album only spawned two singles – Mixed Up World and I Won’t Change You and at the time I felt that they weren’t strong enough for me to feel excited about this album. I’m not sure I’d heard the remixes of these tracks, so might have felt differently about them at the time.
Bernard Butler (ex-Suede) and Alex James (Blur) join the ranks of co-writer Rob Davis (co-writer of Kylie’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – which some believed she turned down) on this album. Their influence is fairly evident on the mellow I Am Not Good At Not Getting What I Want and Love It Is Love respectively, but sadly these two aren’t particularly the strongest tracks on the album.
Davis took on the opener Making Music and the track Nowhere Without You. Oddly, neither became singles, which given his success, must have felt a bit strange.
I’m a fan of the track Another Day, and feel that it could probably have worked as a single. It sounds like a track from the first album – slightly disco, and with a great synth hook. I Won’t Dance Without You is also another great track, and fits in with earlier releases. I’m pretty sure it would have garnered some great remixes too.
Oddly, tucked away at the end of the album, is a cover of Olivia Newton-John‘s hit Physical. I feel that it would have benefited the album by being listed on it.
This album took a different turn. One that I feel saw Sophie’s musical and physical style change. She went blonde, and went a bit too quirky for me. I panicked, and didn’t buy it when it first came out, despite the wonderful artwork.
In an interview, she says that during this time she was going through a break-up, and I guess that’s clear when you listen to how many of the songs are about leaving, moving on, or being lost.
In all, I find this album a bit clunky and disjointed. Half of it sits perfectly with its predecessor, and the other part seems to be a collection of slightly awkward, angry (or sad), guitar tracks.
Despite this, listening to it 11 years later, after a lot more Sophie, it feels like it fits, and the songs are carefully constructed. Sophie’s lyrics and vocals can be cutting, but she’s cross here. It has some high points, and lows, but generally it’s a good listen, and isn’t as accessible as her debut album Read My Lips.
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 3 / 5
- 2003 UK CHART POSITION: #19
- POP RESCUE COST: £1 (from a Poundland store)