For those of you who have read my blog for a while now you probably know that I have a huge passion for music. My passion for music is bigger than my passion for makeup. I am one of those people that always has music playing and has done ever since I was a young girl. I could talk about music and what it means to me all day long but to sum it up, music is my favourite thing in the world. Whenever I listen to it, I’m happy – even if I’m listening to sadder songs.
Each person has a genre or two they gravitate towards as well as certain bands and artists that are their favourites and they never tire of. Personally, I’m very much a pop girl! By pop I don’t always mean chart music and top 40 hits, I mean uptempo songs that make you feel happy and have catchy beats but still have reflective lyrics and a message, e.g. ABBA, Spice Girls and coincidentally the band Claire is from, Steps.
Steps are one of the most successful pop acts to come out of the 90s. To date they have had 14 consecutive top 5 singles in The UK (including two #1’s) and have sold over 20 million records worldwide. In 2011 Steps became the first British boy/girl band to have #1 albums in three consecutive decades (90s, 00s, 2010s). After the release of Tears On the Dancefloor in 2017 and touring the album, Claire decided to go full steam ahead with her own solo effort My Wildest Dreams.
My Wildest Dreams was released on February 1st 2019 and debuted at #9 on The UK albums chart. From start to finish the project took around three years between finding songs, writing songs and recording them. It wasn’t until the latter half of 2018 that Claire announced news of her solo album and began releasing her own music. Claire is known for her powerful vocals and has often been called the voice of Steps. Her musical influences include Karen Carpenter, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston and these influences are evident in Claire’s delivery and tone. Certain voices make you feel something and give you goosebumps and Claire’s is one of those. She is part of the reason I want to sing and a line from track two on the album sums it up beautifully, “I wanna live so my heart can learn to sing.”
Without further ado, let’s get into the review!
Hardcore Steps fans won’t be disappointed but if this is not completely like a Steps album. There are your standard uptempo pop songs that follow the pattern of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, chorus in the form of On My Own, 7 Billion and Shame On You. These songs all have a great message behind them as well as being highlights that you’ll be singing to in no time!
One guarantee with a voice like Claire’s is that there will be big ballads, it’s a no brainer and she does them so well. Claire especially shines on Ruins and Don’t Leave Me In This Love Alone (written by Diane Warren). My favourite vocal run on the album comes from End Before We Start at the end of the second chorus. (Listen *HERE*).
Singles may not always be a listener’s favourite on an album and that is the case here. Title track, My Wildest Dreams is one of my personal highlights and it sums up the whole experience for Claire. She never expected she would get to make this album but she has been in the music business for over 20 years and has more than earned her stripes. There’s even a line in Brave (another of my favourites) which reflects this, “I’m a fighter, I’m a tiger”. Claire co-wrote Brave with her children in mind and it’s a gorgeous song full of raw emotion.
Albums also usually have tracks which grow on a listener the more they hear them, These Wings and Liar fall into this category for me. These Wings makes me want to sing along and have my diva moment and Liar showcases a beautiful depth to Claire’s voice. I find the lyrics poignant and relatable to a situation I was going through last year.
Overall, this is a beautiful album and one you can tell Claire is proud to call her own and has put her heart and soul into. The songs suit Claire’s muscality and she’s playing to her strengths. She has been true to herself whilst living her dream of recording a solo album. Each song has a story and I will be listening to this album and these stories for years to come. Standout Tracks: On My Own, 7 Billion, Brave, Shame On You, Ruins and My Wildest Dreams.
This style of post is different to what I usually share but I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you think of the review!