Anastacia has one of those incredible voices that is almost iconic; her debut album ‘Not That Kind’ went triple platinum in the UK following its release in 2000, as did ‘Freak of Nature’ the following year. Her self-named third album, ‘Anastacia’ was her first to go to number one in the UK, released in 2003 and included ‘Left Outside Alone’ and ‘Sick and Tired’ – songs that epitomise the American singer-songwriter in all her head-nodding, neck-snapping, finger-clicking, ‘hell yeah’ glory!
I road-tested Evolution, Anastacia’s seventh studio album, in all the usual play-lists; the ‘in and out of work along the Hammersmith and City Line’, and the ‘unwinding at the end of the day with a Corona in the bath’. I put this album through its paces.
You should hear ‘Caught in the Middle’ coming from a radio near you in the near future, what with it being the first single released from this body of work, a charming enough track, rather screams ‘grime-remix’ to me – but then things so often do, so perhaps this says more about me than it does the song!
‘Evolution’ is quite an eclectic forty-six minute, thirteen-song, album [not that I mind this in the slightest]; I’d like to think the thread that weaves these tracks together is the fondness Anastacia has for them or their meaning to her – this would make perfect sense.
The ‘Boxer’ reminds me of the Anastacia of old, a little spikier, grittier, than the other tracks, whilst ‘Redlight’ has something of ‘The Lighthouse Family’ about it – in the best ways imaginable. ‘My Everything’ and ‘Stamina’ bring the power ballads and there’s something quite country about ‘Boomerang’.
When listening to ‘Evolution’ it’s difficult not to think of Anastacia’s previous work, such are the enduring qualities of her prior releases and the uniqueness of her voice; herein lies the problem, such signature tunes are a very difficult act to follow. That said, follow she has – and I don’t mind if she did, as this album has proven to be a most pleasant commuting and bath-time companion for me whilst not, perhaps, quite making my Desert Island Disks shortlist.