All Saints – Studio 1 (LP of the Week)

Following last week’s LP of the Week (Alien Ant Farm’s truANT), another great record for summer, albeit a different genre!

At this point in time, although it is pretty much impossible to know, Studio 1 stands as the last All Saints album. Of course I’d like to hear a new album from them, but at the same time, it is good to go out on a high note. From start to finish, Studio 1 is a solid release, possibly their best of three releases.

The album starts of with the first single, “Rock Steady”, which is highly influenced from Jamaican music, including, but not limited to ska, rocksteady (as the song title may imply), 2 Tone and reggae. Could the album title be an homage to the influential Jamaican record label Studio One? I would not be surprised. “Rock Steady” is not the only track that has elements of the influential genres listed above. “Scar” has somewhat of a dub feel to it, while “Not Eazy” also has a dub feel, after staring off with a bit of ska/reggae.

The album flows surprisingly well, going from a somewhat darker R&B track about being cheated on (“Hell No” penned by Shaznay Lewis and Karl “K-Gee” Gordon) to an up-tempo summery song, about being happy in a relationship (“One Me & U”) on one instance to “Chick Fit” (up-tempo club leaning track) going to “On & On” (more ballad-esque leaning).

A few tracks may be close to being called filler, but even then, it is more solid than the weaker tracks from their debut 9 years earlier.

The album closes with the terrific “Fundamental”, easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. The song crescendo’s pretty much most of the song, and peaks with vocal harmonies, including layered vocals, and piano.

This album was of course a result of the Saints reuniting after having split, and as it stands they are not officially disbanded, however there is no music release scheduled anytime soon. With that in mind, no better time to check out what could be their last album.

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