Newest Review: ... cosy wintery theme; some are explicitly about Christmas. Whatever your opinion of the band's music, it would be difficult to argue against... more
Light up your Christmas with Steps
Light Up The World - Steps
Member Name: AbsintheFairy
Light Up The World - Steps
Advantages: Pleasant Christmas album, beautifully sung and arranged
Disadvantages: Lacks the spark of former Steps material
As a fan both of Steps and of Christmas music generally, I eagerly purchased the group's new seasonal album Light Up the World a few weeks ago. This review will examine my thoughts on the album.
The cover shows the band - Claire, Faye, Lisa, H and Lee - in white beneath their gold band name, so that the record is easily identified as one of theirs. However, I found this CD to be more sophisticated than the band's previous poppy offerings. In itself this is neither praise nor criticism; simply an observation.
The ten tracks on the album are a mix of covers and original songs with a cosy wintery theme; some are explicitly about Christmas. Whatever your opinion of the band's music, it would be difficult to argue against their clear singing talent and each member displays strong vocals on this album, particularly Claire who is really a superb singer. Some of the tracks, such as opening song History is Made at Night, have slightly old-fashioned background tracks along easy listening lines, while others, such as Overjoyed, have a more poppy sound.
Slow, wistful love songs take pride of place on the album, such as One Less Bell to Answer and A House is Not a Home. Please Come Home for Christmas has a festive crooner feel. Have Yourself A Merry Christmas is a version of the Judy Garland classic Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, which is my favourite Christmas song. This version, like all the others, does not compare to the original, but it is restrained and gentle with strong vocals and beautiful harmonies, resisting the urge to turn it into an easy listening background track (I'm looking at you, Luther Vandross).
However, there are some more upbeat songs here too. It May Be Winter Outside is cheerful and uplifting, while the jaunty beat of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) belies the sad, pleading nature of the song. Title track Light Up the World is an album highlight, with a sweeping, memorable chorus in the style of old-school Steps.
This isn't the band's greatest album by any means, but it's a pleasant listen at this time of year. Even if you would normally avoid Steps, I recommend this CD provided you like Christmas music, as it's a relaxed, atmospheric festive CD. Currently available online for only £6, it's a definite bargain.
1. History is Made at Night
3. It May Be Winter Outside
4. One Less Bell to Answer
5. A House is Not a Home
6. Light Up the World
7. When She Loved Me
8. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
9. Please Come Home for Christmas
10. Have Yourself A Merry Christmas
Summary: Festive album from Steps