Newest Review: ... The lyrics to 'Lay Your Hands' are very uplifting, for example when Simon says 'When life is getting you down and close to defeat, come... more
Smooth & Soothing at all times!
Sanctuary - Simon Webbe
Member Name: blonde_girl774
Sanctuary - Simon Webbe
Advantages: Great tracks, emotive lyrics, soothing voice, brilliant debut album.
Disadvantages: 1 or 2 weak links.
The first track was his first release back in August of this year “Lay Your Hands On Me” which went into the UK charts at Number 4 and stayed within the top 10 for 3 weeks. It’s quite a soft and mellow track which suits his voice entirely with a soothing beat underneath the song throughout. Throughout the album his voice alternates between laid back pop, soft r n b and even borders on soothing soul at times too. The song is basically about life in general and how things can often seem to get on top of you at times, in which case you need to turn to others for help. “Oh baby when I’m calling out, give me love and affection, keep telling me, show me the way.” This track is followed by his second release “No Worries” which has seen great success in the past couple of weeks and is still in the UK chart at position 14. It’s infectious and you won’t be able to help yourself from singing along. It’s got a soothing beat running throughout, slightly more upbeat than the previous track with some great lyrics also. It also follows on rather suitably from the previous track which is about the pressures of life; this song focuses more on how you don’t need to worry about things and how they’ll always change for the better. “I just know your life’s gonna change, baby not today maybe not today, someday soon you’ll be alright.” It gives you a sense of reassurance and hope even, something that a song hasn’t actually convicted in me for some time.
The third track on the album is pure emotion in my mind, “After All This Time” is the classic story of how a man does you wrong in some sense yet the woman will always love him, mainly down to their pride. When I first heard this song I really felt quite motivated by it and after listening to it a few times it almost made me feel a little sad. It’s got a soothing acoustic groove to it and although it’s far from a dance track it is one that you could easily find yourself tapping your foot along to. It is a simple song, with little backing music and quite limited ranges to his voice – yet it’s effective. “And to the outside eye, they see a family getting by, and it all seems perfect, and that’s how she wants it, cos she’s loving him still, after all this time.” The fourth track on the album is a little more upbeat than the previous three yet still remarkably chilled, “Little High.” His voice has such a calming quality to it, melodic sounding at all times and ideal for relaxation. This track is all about making changes in your life, a theme that seems to have been in force throughout the album so far. It’s nice in a sense that the track meanings all seems to link together in a sense. “I can see you’re in need of some protection, don’t fret don’t cry, just go ahead change it, just gotta face it, everybody needs a little high.”
The fifth song on the album is another song concerned with love, and the problems it can cause within a relationship. “Time Of Your Life” focuses on how even though it may appear you’re having a great time you may be neglecting a loved one. “You say you’ve got all you’d ever want, then how come you’re demanding everything, a little bit more from everyone.” What I really like about this album is that the tracks have a mixture of positive and negative emotions; on the majority of albums I’ve heard recently they’ve focused on the negative aspects of love which is where this one is a refreshing change. “Unjustified” really changes the mood of the album; it’s much more quirky and upbeat than any of the previous songs and shows Simon’s voice off at a different angle. It’s got a sexy feel to it almost with a sultry chorus and beat running throughout it but surprisingly it’s the track I’ve skipped the most often since I’ve had the album. “So have it your way, but you’ll pay the price, you had your chances, still got no answers, no leaving with your head held high.”
The opening of “Free” sounds like something Delta Goodrem would produce and has the same angelic quality throughout. Simon’s voice appears to be lighter in this track, almost faded slightly and hypnotic in a sense. It’s a great song with clear passion throughout it, not at all wishy washy like some love songs can appear. “Free, when you’re near me, yeah I’m free all the time, I just need you to hear me, it’s only you that makes me free, I’m not used to being loved.” It’s got that wonderful reassuring quality again that everyone can find love and just how brilliant love can be. There are some great crescendos in this track that show the strength of his voice which is also another positive of this track. “Ashamed” is next up and again has a quirky feel to it and certainly sounds more pop like than his previous tracks. It’s got a feel of Blue or Westlife to it which does make it a little cringe worthy but on the whole it’s an okay track. The general gist of the track is that he’s accused his girlfriend of cheating on him and is trying to rectify himself, a topic that’s surely been sung about before at some point. “I realise that we all can make mistakes, and I’ll do whatever it takes babe, you know I’d do anything for you.”
“Only Love” has a great opening beat to it, something similar to that of laid back Mario or Usher and really gets under your skin. The track is much more quirky than previous ones with a faster beat causing Simon’s voice to jump effortlessly over the different notes. The chorus is brilliant, really inspiring and also quite uplifting as well. Obviously about love and how it can lift you up completely, “I don’t know why or how we go here, but I reach inside and the answer is clear.” “All I Want” is the ninth track on the album and opens with a phone message from his girlfriend saying she just can’t handle things anymore and the song is his response to her. It’s got quite a depressing feel to it and almost sounds as if it never quite gets up and running in a sense. I can just imagine someone quite cheesy like Backstreet Boys in their former days doing a dance to this and that almost makes me dislike it! It’s not his best song, far too main stream boy band material for my liking and is really the only weak link on the CD. “All I want it you, I’m no longer confused, my life is not the same and I’m the one to blame.”
“Star” is the second to last track on the album and has a very African feel to it with soul singers opening the track and the sound of drums playing lightly throughout. It’s quite odd that he’s chosen to mix an African theme in the music with a song classically about a girl, his star with references to “the club” and “the dance floor!” Upon first hearing this song I wasn’t overly keen but it’s grown on me, it’s a refreshing change to the mood of the album and shows that he is capable of covering different genres and moods of music. “I don’t what it is, but it’s shining like a star, so come on over, and show me who you are, a little closer I can’t touch you from afar, just you and me girl dancing in the dark.” The last track, rather oddly, is the title track of the album “Sanctuary” which normally appears earlier than in this position on an album. Again is reverts back to the opening theme created by “Lay Your Hands On Me” and talks about how he’ll basically be your sanctuary and save you. Presumably by listening to this album whenever you’re a little down he’ll act as your sanctuary, I doubt he’ll make home visits! It’s a good song, smooth sounding and a little uplifting but I can see why he’s saved it till the last position. “I’ll be your sanctuary, be the last one left here standing, if you’re feeling all alone, when the world feels so temporary.”
I personally think this is one of the best albums I currently own, there’s something on here for every mood of mine and I’d have to give it thumbs up. His sound is very “urban folk” as he calls it himself, mixing r n b with soul and doing it rather well if you ask me. His voice has recently been compared in certain music magazines to that of Tunde from The Lighthouse Family which I feel sums it up completely. It’s melodic, soothing and sultry too at times. As for the album it’s got a great mixture of songs with only 1 or 2 weaker tracks which is a great accomplishment for any debut album. The songs all seem to flow on effortlessly from each other, there’s no sudden change in beat or tempo and as such it’s almost like reading a book with a clear flow to it. I’d give this album 5 out of 5 myself!
Guardian Unlimited “His primary talent is sounding heartfelt, no matter how trite the subject; he could soon be giving Seal a run for his money.”
Summary: The first album from singer Simon Webbe.