Nostalgia is a funny thing. It can doom someone to forever repeat what they’re most famous for and make you seem hilariously out of touch with the modern day, or it can bring people of certain ages together and change a mediocre night out into a great one. For a lot of people, Steps were an integral part of growing up, a reminder of a happy and carefree era of making up dance routines or singing into your hairbrush.
Well, Steps fans, avert your eyes, because this is going to be like taking the giblets out of a turkey with a claw hammer and a vacuum cleaner. Messy.
For a comeback album, Christmas songs were an odd choice. The traditional tunes associated with the festive season are just as nostalgic as Steps’ original material, so covers and new efforts alike will be greeted with about as much warmth as a snowman’s balls. This isn’t the triumphant return fans would be hoping for; it’s more of a confused muddle of glitter and sleigh bells.
Album opener ‘History Is Made At Night’ sets the tone of Christmas cliché, with jingling piano and some brass touches, but the awkward theme of school and teaching in the lyrics just seems out of place. The confusion continues with the Spanish guitar and funky bongos on ‘Overjoyed’ and the almost reggae like riff on ‘It May be Winter Outside’.
All subtlety is removed with the use of the first few bars of ‘jingle bells’ in this song, but the album struggles between it’s seasonal leaning and it’s attempts to be original. Throw in some flat vocals, a well-executed but misplaced cover of ‘When She Loved Me’ from Toy Story 2 and it’s clear Steps are on the naughty list this year.
So if someone asks you for ‘Light Up the World’ for Christmas, do them a favour. Put a lump of coal in their stocking, light it, and get the funk out of there. Bah Humbug!
(28th November 2012, http://www.galleonnews.com/2012/11/albu