Studio 1 (album)
|Studio album by All Saints|
10 November 2006|
(See release history)
|Genre||Pop, reggae fusion, electro-R&B|
|Producer||K-Gee, Greg Kurstin, Rick Nowels|
|All Saints chronology|
|Singles from All Saints|
Studio 1 is the third studio album by English-Canadian girl group All Saints. It was released following a five-year hiatus during which the bandmembers had pursued solo careers.
The first single released from the album was "Rock Steady" which was released on 6 November 2006 and peaked at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. A second single, "Chick Fit" was a download-only release. The album debuted at No. 40 on the UK Albums Chart. It was certified Gold in the UK.
In October 2000, All Saints released their second studio album Saints & Sinners. It scored the number-one hit singles "Pure Shores" and "Black Coffee" and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, eventually reaching double platinum certification in the UK for sales of 600,000 copies. In February 2001, they announced that they were to take a break so that they "could clear the air between themselves". Melanie Blatt said later that year that it was uncertain if they would reform, citing their difficulties with the financial and business aspects of the group. Shaznay Lewis later explained that the catalyst for the break-up was a disagreement over who would wear a certain jacket for a photoshoot: "I would never in a million years have put money on the group ending over a jacket incident. But when that incident happened, it fired up so strong, it had to be over. And the way I was then, the state we'd got into then, there was no way she was getting that stupid jacket." In November 2001, London Records released a greatest hits compilation entitled All Hits. The album peaked at number eighteen on the UK Albums Chart and was later certified gold, selling 100,000 copies. On 24 January 2006, it was announced that the band had reformed and signed a record deal with Parlophone.
Recording and music
Lewis answered why they were back together, saying: "Because this time round we just want to have a good time and a laugh." While Nicole Appleton stated: "We weren't finished, I think this album is the best we've done." Blatt remarked: "I didn't know what to expect. Would it be the same? Would it be worse? But it was actually better, because we've all grown up."
Studio 1 bears the All Saints' signature sound, a blend of pop, hip hop, R&B and a bit of rock. The first track and lead single "Rock Steady" was the first-ever song Shaznay Lewis wrote with Greg Kurstin and the first demo the band sang together in four years. It is highly influenced by Jamaican music, including ska, rocksteady (as the song title imply), 2 Tone and reggae. The second track and second single "Chick Fit" was described as "one of those blast it, getting ready, dance around tracks" and one of Nicole's favourites on the album. "On and On" was written when member Shaznay was pregnant and got the anticipation of going through the whole thing. For Melanie Blatt, "It's the most old All Saints sounding one from the William Orbit days." "Scar" opens with a horn section and then goes off into a bit of a ska direction. It was called "Scar" purely because of the ska influence in the song but someone wrote it scar and it stayed. "Not Eazy" has a dub feel, after starting off with a bit of ska/reggae. According to Nicole Appleton, the song was inspired by bands like Madness and No Doubt who have a "trumpet reggae sound." It is about relationships and things women can relate to. "Hell No" is a darker R&B track about being cheated on, penned by Shaznay Lewis and Karl "K-Gee" Gordon. "Tell me who's that bitch I see climbing out your window", they sing. According to Lewis, "It's a totally made-up song about trusting a man. I've checked a few text messages in the past!"
"One Me and U" is an up-tempo summery song, about being happy in a relationship. Lewis said that "That's one of my favourites. I love the whole Burt Bacharach feel. Its quite Sixties". Opening with a hard piano riff and propelled along by some heavy percussion, "Headlock" is a song about unreliable men. Lewis commented: "I've not just drawn from myself, but from someone in the band and friends." "Too Nasty" shows indignation on a wayward reggae. It was called "Tuna Steak" because Blatt's daughter Lily came into the studio and when they sang "too nasty", she thought they were singing "tuna steak". The lyrics speak of a former boyfriend with a "dirty" habit that the singer witnessed and cannot forget. Blatt, who co-wrote the song, told The Sun: "In my head this song was about bestiality. So basically it's someone getting it on with a horse, sheep, chicken." Lewis revealed that Greg Wells is very into harmonies and weird, quirky sounds, which she was also into, so they worked well together on the tenth track "In It to Win It". "Flashback" was written by Natalie Appleton and Amanda Ghost. According to herself, she "has a tendency to say things and think, 'Oh, I wish I'd never said that.' So, she was trying to put that down." The album closes with "Fundamental". The song features vocal harmonies, including layered vocals, and piano. According to Lewis, "this is a love song for all four of us and our kids."
Studio 1 received mixed reviews from music critics. Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, writing: "Studio 1 offers a fresh take on their girl-group style. Always R&B-inclined, their harmonies are now judiciously seasoned with reggae and ska." John Murphy from musicOMH gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, commenting: "Studio 1, despite not bearing much resemblance to the All Saints of yore, will be snapped up eagerly by those who remember them fondly in their heyday. Yet it's unclear who else this will appeal to really – while it's a pleasant enough listen for the most part, there aren't enough strong songs for it to really grab the attention." Matthew Chisling from AllMusic wrote that "Unfortunately, while all the music is appealing, it lacks personality and character. The tracks, all composed by Shaznay Lewis and Greg Kurstin, bear no emotional value, and the girls' voices are indistinguishable from one another and digitally enhanced to the point of obscurity."
In a more mixed review, Kitty Empire from The Observer perceived that "despite some flickers of interest – on 'Chick Fit' and 'Hell No' in particular – too much of Studio 1 happens in a thin, tinny place." Hamish Champ gave the album 2 out of 5 stars, writing that "the album sounds like an attempt to show that while they may be mums now they can still strut their funky stuff. It works, more or less, but the nagging feeling remains that others have entered the musical arena in the intervening years and have stolen the girls' pop tiaras."
During the week of the album's release, it faced a chart battle against George Michael's Twenty Five and the Sugababes' Overloaded: The Singles Collection. Although the media predicted sales would be "very close", Studio 1 entered the UK Albums Chart at number 40, falling significantly short of the success of "Rock Steady" and the group's previous releases. Despite its lack of chart success, the album has shipped over 100,000 copies according to the BPI, being certified Gold. As of April 2016, however, it has sold only 40,054 copies.
|1.||"Rock Steady"||Shaznay Lewis, Greg Kurstin||Greg Kurstin||2:44|
|2.||"Chick Fit"||Lewis, Rick Nowels||Rick Nowels||3:33|
|3.||"On and On"||Lewis, Kurstin||Greg Kurstin||3:59|
|4.||"Scar"||Melanie Blatt, K-Gee||Karl "K-Gee" Gordon||3:50|
|5.||"Not Eazy"||Lewis, Kurstin||Greg Kurstin||3:17|
|6.||"Hell No"||Lewis, K-Gee||Karl "K-Gee" Gordon||3:40|
|7.||"One Me and U"||Lewis, Kurstin||Greg Kurstin||3:36|
|8.||"Headlock"||Lewis, Kurstin||Greg Kurstin||3:31|
|9.||"Too Nasty"||Blatt, Nicole Appleton, K-Gee||Karl "K-Gee" Gordon||3:55|
|10.||"In It to Win It"||Lewis, Kurstin||Greg Kurstin||3:41|
|11.||"Flashback"||Natalie Appleton, Amanda Ghost, Liam Howlett, Ian Dench||Liam Howlett, The Amsterdamagers||3:01|
|12.||"Fundamental"||Lewis, K-Gee||Karl "K-Gee" Gordon||3:48|
|Japanese bonus tracks|
|13.||"Dope Noize"||Blatt, K-Gee||Karl "K-Gee" Gordon||3:53|
|14.||"Do Me"||Lewis, K-Gee, Steve Octave||Karl "K-Gee" Gordon||4:16|
Special edition DVD
|1.||All Saints interview|
|2.||"Rock Steady" video|
|3.||"Sexy" (exclusive audio track) (written by Shaznay Lewis and Greg Kurstin)|
|Running time: 32 minutes|
|Ireland||10 November 2006|
|Europe||13 November 2006|
|Australia||25 November 2006|
|Brazil||5 December 2006|
|United Kingdom||19 November 2006||40||100,000||Gold|
|Switzerland||3 December 2006||73||50,000||Platinum|
- 7digital.com Tracklist Studio 1. Retrieved: 31 October 2006
- NME.com "All Saints comeback album details", 16 October 2006 (Retrieved: 16 October 2006)
- "Saints & Sinners – All Saints: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards: Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "BPI Certified Awards Search" (insert "All Saints" into the "Search" box, and then select "Go"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- "All Saints 'split over money'". BBC News. 17 August 2001.
- Vernon, Polly (10 October 2004). "Patience of a saint". The Guardian. London.
- "All Hits – All Saints: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards: Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "All Saints confirm reunion". Contact music. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- "All Saints back and having fun". The Sun. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Ellen, Barbara (5 November 2006). "Barbara Ellen meets the reformed All Saint". The Observer. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "All Saints – Studio 1 (LP of the Week)". Too Much Music. 8 July 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Murphy, John (13 November 2006). "All Saints – Studio 1 | album reviews | musicOMH". MusicOMH. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Sullivan, Caroline (10 November 2006). "CD: All Saints, Studio 1 | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Chisling, Matthew (13 November 2006). "Studio 1 – All Saints: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards: Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Empire, Kitty (12 November 2006). "All Saints, Studio 1 | Music | The Observer". The Observer. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Champ, Hamish (13 November 2006). "All Saints: Studio 1 review – Album reviews – Music – Virgin Media". Virgin Media. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- Jones, Alan (15 April 2016). "Official Charts Analysis: The Lumineers' second album, Cleopatra debuts at No.1". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 15 April 2016. (subscription required (. ))
- HitParade.ch Studio 1 page. (Accessed: 3 December 2006)