Today’s POP RESCUE from a possible loveless future is the debut 2003 album Everything’s Eventual from Canadian former-All Saints sisters, Appleton.
Marius De Vries has production, songwriter, and musician credits throughout this album, so in theory it should be a good listen.
The album opens with Fantasy which sounds very much (musically and vocally) in the verses like a Natalie Imbruglia debut album track, before belting into some familiar All Saints style for the chorus. The track is quite rocky, and fairly catchy, and quite rightly was the debut single, reaching #2 in the UK singles chart.
This is followed by the much more mellow song Don’t Worry. Its gentle strings, beat and guitars, give a warm feeling. Again, we’re treading early Imbruglia ground, but this is another really nice song, and is the first of the nine tracks co-written by Natalie. This was the second single from the album, reaching #5 in the UK charts.
Next up is Hallelujah, which like the previous songs, has slick production and a really warm, mellow sound.
Title track, and the third and final single, Everything Eventually is up next. This song feels like it might not have sounded out of place on Madonna‘s Ray Of Light album. Sadly, this single stalled at #38 in the UK charts, sealing their fate of being dropped by their record label. This is the first (and probably last) song I’ve heard that contains the lyrics ‘listen to some Harry Potter on my cassette player audio’.
MWA (Mystic Wisdon Of The Ancients) is up next. The intro sounds like it is going to try to emulate something from Bomb Diggity, but instead puts you back into All Saints debut album track territory. I don’t really know what this song is about – it feels like a bit of a pointless jumble on first listen.
Next up is Ring-A-Ding-Ding, the longest track on the album at 6m 31s. An eastern feel weaves through this song courtesy of the percussion and swirling strings, and it’s a really cinematic song, and despite its length, it doesn’t feel like it drags on, because it keeps evolving, soaring, and building.
Seventh track is Supernaturally, bursts in with building growly guitar, but in a split second pause drops them, and switches to a more mellow sound. It makes a couple more appearances again, but it should have taken centre stage.
All Grown Up, starts off, as you might expect a grown-up song to sound – it’s serious piano time. A slinky bass line, some keys, and gentle beats join in as the vocals purr. This is a wonderful song, and I found myself humming along on first listen. I think it should probably have been the third single instead of Everything Eventually.
This is followed by Waiting For Your Love, which opens with some guitar and vocals, before letting the guitars and synth snarl in. This is a great electro pop sound, and reminds me of the 2005 Rachel Stevens solo material.
Acoustic guitars and strings bring in the gentle 5am – this is a wonderfully warm ballad. The piano joins in, and helps bolster the track, which really grows well. The vocals here are very delicate, and there’s some lovely vocal harmonies between Natalie and Nicole.
Similarly, Long Long Road, is a great mid-tempo track – in verse and chorus – the latter of which is pretty catchy too. At times, it could be a Sugababes song, but thankfully isn’t. This song is a credit to the album.
Penultimate track Anyone is a slow orchestra and piano ballad. There’s some really nice vocal harmonies here, although the song doesn’t particularly go very far.
The album closes with Blow My Mind, an up-tempo track that feels like a companion to Fantasy, and also a reminder that Appleton planned to be a rockier All Saints, as the song crashes out with some squealing guitar.
Overall, this album feels greatly underrated. If you are a fan of sweeping strings and beats, or a fan of William Orbit‘s late-90s work, or of All Saints, Natalie Imbruglia, or Madonna’s Ray Of Light, then there’s plenty here for you.
Where are Appleton now?
Sadly, with the failure of their third single, their record label decided that selling 80,000 copies of this album was not good business, and promptly dropped them.
Nicole and Natalie returned to All Saints in 2006, which saw the group’s third album Studio 1 released, but they split again in 2009. The group reformed again in 2013, but do not appear to be recording new material.
Both Nicole and Natalie have made numerous appearances on TV shows as presenters and reality show contestants.
POP RESCUE RATING
- POP RESCUE RATING: 5 / 5
- 2003 UK CHART POSITION: #9, certified Silver.
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.99 from a British Heart Foundation store.