1999 – Polydor
Let me just start by saying that when I picked up this record out of my stack today I sort of stared at it for a little while thinking, “when, where, and why did I get this?” S Club 7 are definitely not my usual fare of musical enjoyment, but I figured what the hell? I’ve got the album, why not review it? So, here goes!
S Club the debut album from the seven British pop artists and it delivers exactly the kind of uplifting bubble-gum pop that one might expect. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the group is honest about what they’re trying to do, and S Club 7 certainly are honest. They got together to make a record jam packed full of pop cliché and extremely catchy tunes, and that’s precisely what I listened to.
Bring It All Back and S Club Party are almost embarrassingly catchy and one could be forgiven for forgetting their dignity and accidentally singing along. You’re My Number One and Everybody Wants Ya have a certain Motown inspired appeal, but they’re not really on the charts of musical achievement and they’re retro cannibalism comes across as more rip-off than homage.
Friday Night in contrast is just laughable in the extremity of its attempt at non-offensive pop glory. This soulless call to ‘groove all night’ is really just silly no matter how you slice it, not to mention its being possibly the whitest hip-hop track I’ve heard since Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby. Viva La Fiesta and It’s A Feel Good Thing are also just obnoxious with their annoyingly amped up Latin rhythms. These two tracks might actually be the two most irritating on the record with their too lively beats and relentless insistence on my dancing and feeling good. Anything that happy just makes me angry… so watch out S Club 7.
Where this album really falls down though is in its slow songs like Two In A Million and Gonna Change The World. These songs just take themselves too seriously (not a good idea with a record this wrapped up in fun and silliness), and they’re not even catchy! Maybe these cuts were included to try and legitimise the group as actual musical artists rather than just the backbeat to countless primary-school dances, but if that’s the case then they failed. All these songs achieved on this album was making me even angrier at the group than I was when they were trying to get me up and dancing, and if there’s one thing I don’t want from a record it’s fiery rage.
To wrap up then I would say that S Club is catchy (almost too catchy) and quite fun in parts, but on the whole it’s just plain annoying. I guess you might enjoy this album if you have an amazing sense of irony, or if you are a pre-teen in the late nineties, but really no-one taking music even remotely seriously ever needs to listen to it.
One of the better tracks from S Club 7’s debut record.