It certainly is a sad state of affairs when the saying “out with the old, in with new” rings true for someone like Sophie, who, at the height of her fame (2000-2003) narrowly missed out on four BRIT Awards despite being one of the most successful pop peddlers in the UK since Kylie Minogue. However, the Americanisation of our own charts has dictated that we move on from people like Sophie and listen to younger artists with more current music – Ke$ha, GaGa, Rihanna, Katy et al. People seem to have forgotten that, back in the day, Sophie gave us some monster smash hits that still find their way – in original or remix form – into clubs across the whole of Europe, save the UK and Ireland. Over there, she really is like their Cheryl Cole, only with more musical talent… and the ability to sing.
It’s also quite a concern that many people seem to place her in some kind of “non-relevant” category, along with a lot of other British female artists like Amy MacDonald, Paloma Faith and so forth who are, in many more ways than just one, much more talented than the likes of Pixie Lott, Cheryl Cole and Ellie Goulding.
Ask around, and people couldn’t tell you any of the songs Sophie’s released in the last year – ‘Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)’, ‘Bittersweet’, ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ – since she’s had her child, she doesn’t seem to be included in the media fodder category that milks “popstars” for the very innards of their personal life, hence her musical downfall to irrelevance.
And so we move on to the fourth single from an album that still hasn’t been released despite being slated for August of last year. ‘Not Giving Up On Love’ sees Sophie team up with European trance DJ, Armin van Buuren. It would be unfair to claim this is Sophie’s best work – ‘Catch You’ and ‘Bittersweet’ spring to mind when that statement arises. But make no mistake – her super-seductive voice still shines with the stunning clarity of white ice and rings with the beauty of a siren call over Armin’s glacial synths and towering melodies. There are many catchy moments, and the song is simply destined for the club scene. However, it may not find it’s way to the chart despite being quite a strategic release: it’s clearly trying to latch onto the tail end of the mini [insert experimental sub-genre(s) here] rage that’s grown in popularity and saw many a D&B/dubstep/nu-wave track find it’s way into the Top 40.
It may just do it, if it had airplay. And I see no reason why it shouldn’t have airplay – Radio 1 probably being exclusive with the playlists again. Those chart fanatics among us will know that ‘Not Giving Up On Love’ has already peaked at #1 in Poland and charted within the Top 10 of many other countries, so it’s not like it’s an impossible feat if were it to get airplay.
Here’s the video: It has a boat.
Watta lovely boat.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is still a mighty force on the continent, and should rightly be recognised where she originally started – the UK. A bit more effort with the promotion, a little more airplay, and ‘Not Giving Up On Love’ will soar. Unfortunately I feel it may be another underperforming single, leaving Sophie no other alternative than to cancel or rush release her long-awaited comeback album.
Rating: 4.0 STARS
Download: March 6, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Make A Scene’