British Pop group Steps finally graced us with the gift of their fifth studio album, yes-“Light Up the World” is a studio album. “Tears on the Dancefloor” is the album that Steps fans having been waiting since their Boxing Day, or the day after Christmas, split that shocked the world in 2001.
“Tears on the Dancefloor” is a classic Steps album. It follows the same styles that the first three were. It’s catchy, dance pop music that can be cheesy. The difference with this album is that it’s really mature. It’s not like they are dropping “fucks” and “shits,” I personally would love that, but the nature of the lyrics and the story that they are telling isn’t what you would hear when the band formed in 1997. It still has a heavy influence of ABBA, including one song called “Story of a Heart,” which was written by Benny and Bjorn of ABBA. “Story of a Heart” is probably my favorite song off the album. I’ll review it more in-depth when it’s/if officially released as single but it’s just a great song.
One of the issues with the album is that it starts off amazingly strong. The first five songs are all amazing and great songs. “Firefly” and “Space Between Us” is the middle of the album. After that, the rest of the album doesn’t carry the amazingness that is presented in the first half. They are still great but the excitement just fizzes out. The rest of the album never regains it. “Neon Blue” comes close to bringing the excitement back because it’s an amazing song but the fact that it’s at the end of the album, second to the last song before the two remixes, doesn’t help. The songs after “Space Between Us” aren’t horrible songs at all, it’s just that it’s hard to compete with pretty much with a heavy loaded opening. If they were to reorder the album and not have the first five songs together like that, then it wouldn’t feel like that.
Surprisingly, there really isn’t any filler songs on the album. The only song that I would classify as a filler song if I really need to was “Firefly.” It’s not a horrible song but the repetitive lyrics in the chorus and the just the feel of the song itself just makes it feel out-of-place. It’s kind of like they needed one more song and decided to use this one. If they were just to change the lyrics, it would be way better. “Space Between Us” is the most anti-Steps song on the album and I love it. It’s not dance pop but rather more of a modern pop hit. Like, it is a nice change of pace and I want more songs like it. I also think it should be a single. My only complaint with the song is the fact that there are two remixes at the end of the album instead of two more new songs. If there was a deluxe version, then that would be okay. But most people won’t listen to the remixes at the end so it’s kind of waste of space.
The vocals on the album are great! It’s the same Steps vocals that you know and love but with more maturity in them. Oh, and the guys sing lead on two of them. “No More Tears On The Dancefloor” and “Space Between Us” is songs predominately featuring what the group is calling “Blocals.” And I think it safe to say that Lee heard more on the album than H. While both are great, it’s just nice to have a change. Claire vocals are amazing on this album. Like they use her ability to belt in the most amazing ways. While it really doesn’t get old, it’s used in a way that doesn’t overly dominate the song.
This album is the best album they have put out since their third album “Buzz.” It’s a classic Steps album that showcases maturity and trying different things while also playing with their winning formula. The album is front-loaded and that is what hurts the album. There’s really no need to replay the album after track five. “Story Of A Heart,” “No More Tears On The Dancefloor,” “Space Between Us,” and “Neon Blue” are stand out tracks for me on this album.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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