Today’s POP RESCUE from a loveless uncertain fate is the 2005 second album Come And Get It from former S Club 7 member, Rachel Stevens.
It is also home to some of pop’s songwriter and production royalty – including Richard X, Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper, Rob Davis, Jewels and Stone, and Karen Poole.
The album opens with the belting track So Good, which packs a punch from its first second. This truly is an epic pop track, and the perfect place to start an album. It’s strong musically, and lyrically and vocally it is defiant – giving Rachel the chance to fight her corner. This was released as the second single.
Next up is third single I Said Never Again (But Here We Are). The chugging guitars of this song give it an almost glam rock feel with a dance tinge – it is certainly reminiscent of Goldfrapp‘s Ooh La La from the same year. The track narrowly missed the top 10, but did feature in the Deuce Bigalow movie which is often deemed unsuccessful.
Crazy Boys is up next, and it continues this glam rock electro feeling, with some bonus timpani drums. Rachel’s breathy vocals make light work of this track, and at times she reminds me of Kylie Minogue during her Body Language and X era.
Fourth track I Will Be There, is a gentle mix of breathy vocals over spacial soundscapes. It wafts along, and gives Rachel plenty of space to show off her vocal skills. The pulsating synth underlies this and keeps the pace, weaving verses to chorus as any good pop record should.
Lead single Negotiate With Love is up next, and I don’t remember this being released. It’s a perfectly good mellow track, but feels a bit of an odd choice for lead single, and perhaps and odd choice as a single at all, as it feels fairly weak in contrast with the other single choices.
Next up is All About Me, and this track samples Lullaby by The Cure, which is definitely an album track. It’s perfectly formed, but is definitely suited here within an album.
Secret Garden is up next, and this track ups the pace, and includes a nice wandering piano, strings, and throbbing bass line. There’s no real secret about what this Secret Garden refers to. ‘Your private invitation into ecstasy. Take cover. Keep it locked, and let’s swallow the key’ she teases.
This is followed by the first Xenomania piece – Nothing Good About This Goodbye – characterised by the pulsating bass synth line, whooshes, and catchy chorus. This is a great song, and perhaps should have replaced Negotiate With Love as a single, and it almost saw release as the fourth single in 2006, but was shelved.
Next up is Some Girls, which I’m not sure why it features here considering it was on her previous album Funky Dory. However, it’s a brilliant track, so it’s a welcome pointless addition. Again, this rides the glam rock electro trend, and sits perfectly alongside So Good and the style adopted by Goldfrapp. This is of course a Richard X track, and his brilliance shines as much as Rachel’s vocals do. Perfect track.
Having pumped all the way through that song, the next song – Je M’Appelle is a slow, simple ballad meets sultry French lesson. That, or she genuinely is offering the use of her radiators during a rain storm. This track has more of a RnB feel to it, and a beat that would make Mis-Teeq proud. Rachel’s vocal harmonies leave her sounding at times like the Sugababes.
Funny How is up next, and is the only track that sees a writing credit from Rachel herself. Again, this is Xenomania territory, with both Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper on co-writer credits. It’s a great bouncy pop song, and very reminiscent of 80s disco. Vocally and musically it flows perfectly, and this is another track that I would have pitched as a replacement single for Negotiate With Love.
Jewels & Stone and Rob Davis penned Every Little Thing is up next – the first of the two ‘UK Bonus Track’ (although I believe that they were included on all editions!). This song is really quite bouncy, and I could imagine this track being recorded by S Club 7, as there’s plenty of room for different vocals to take the lead in the verses and choruses.
The album closes with Dumb Dumb, which is a fantastically bouncy synth track. Rachel’s vocals are really strong here too, and this makes a perfect ending to a great album.
Pop royalty paid off, and this album really is a much ignored masterpiece. The Guardian have since gone on to name it as one of the albums that you need to listen to before you die. Quite right.
Where is Rachel Stevens now?
After the mysterious failure of this album, Rachel Stevens has moved more into film and television – starring in the second Deuce Bigalow movie, and on numerous TV shows, including Strictly Come Dancing.
An S Club 7 reunion for BBC’s Children In Need was announced in October 2014.
Don’t stop movin’ indeed.
POP RESCUE RATING:
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 5 / 5 – perfect pop.
- 2005 UK CHART POSITION: #28
- POP RESCUE 2014 COST: £1.99 from a British Heart Foundation store.