Saints And Sinners

Saints And Sinners

It's better than the new [a]Spice Girls[/a] record. But really, that's not good enough.

[a]All Saints[/a] were once the credible, cool alternative to the [a]Spice Girls[/a]. Named after a tough street in bohemian west London, they were more than just a novelty girl group, eschewing Girl Power’s vulgar trappings by sticking to sultry hip-hop stylings and, simply, good songs. Like [a]Oasis[/a], they also changed the dress sense of a nation.

But since the release of their first album and their meteoric rise to tabloid infamy, they seem to be on a mission to tear down that credibility, brick by brick. The almost nightly visits to the Met Bar with an ever-increasing list of luvvie friends (Theakston, Air, [I]et al[/I]) and their decision to team up with Dave Stewart to make ‘that movie’ only detracted from what made them cool in the first place. Where American divas like Mary J Blige and Missy Elliott have had no trouble spreading their wings into making cartoons, designing clothes and signing lucrative make-up contracts, [a]All Saints[/a]’ extracurricular activities seem to have worked against them.

. This is ‘One More Tequila’, the album’s nadir, and as an attempt at winning back cool it’s not a very convincing one. ‘Dreams’ and William Orbit‘s other contribution, ‘Surrender’, are much better but suffer for sitting alongside dreary clunkers like ‘Distance’ and ‘I Feel You’ (the latter produced by Melanie Blatt‘s partner Stuart Zender – he used to play bass with Jamiroquai).

If [a]All Saints[/a] are to seriously compete with the American R&B giants, or even their upcoming labelmates Sugababes, then they must move away from making music this pedestrian. Times are changing and recent hits by Aaliyah and Destiny’s Child have proved that innovation can still mean platinum success. For a British pop album, ‘Saints And Sinners’ is simply passable. It’s better than the new [a]Spice Girls[/a] record. But really, that’s not good enough.