Seven is the latest album from British soul icon Lisa Stansfield – the aptly titled record becoming the seventh in her career which spans over three decades. Released ten years after her last album, The Moment, Seven is smooth, soulful, powerful and classy – just as we’d expect from such an R&B veteran.
The album explores themes of love and relationships, showcasing the storytelling ability Lisa possesses in her lyric writing. “A lot of the album is about the trap that a woman has got herself into – an unrequited, doomed or mismatched love – and how to get herself out of it…if she can…I think we all suffer the same pain, all feel the same happiness, and we all have the same emotions within us. My life isn’t very racy or exciting so I make things up, tell stories. I like telling stories.” Lisa’s passion for storytelling comes through the songs from the opening track and lead single Can’t Dance and onward.
Can’t Dance starts the album off with a 70’s disco feel and showing off Lisa’s distinctive soulful voice, especially when she seamlessly hits the high notes. The groovy upbeat tempo makes the title ironic, as you’ll find it difficult not to dance along to this number.
The next track Why offers a more soulful vibe– the classy little black dress and pearl necklace of songs – complete with clicking fingers, steady low voice and big band finish. At times this song is reminiscent of the classic Fever made famous by Peggy Lee without sounding too familiar.
So Be It is a charming and fresh fiery tune. “You might not know it yet but I’m someone you won’t forget/No apologies for being me/Cause if that’s what I am/So be it” Lisa sings in her soulful voice oozing with confidence and esteem.
A high point of the album is The Crown, coming in around the middle of the record. The song has an easy, soothing sound with a 90s/early 2000s soul pop vibe. It is flowy and cool, becoming easy to learn and get involved with– meaning you’re bound to be singing along whether you want to or not!
The Rain is a fun track towards the back end of the album, where Lisa lets loose with her voice and shows some great range. The power in her voice is enviable and the song is a total toe-tapper – another true highlight of Seven.
Conversation is a beautiful ballad written solo by Stansfield, the second of two tracks written only by Lisa (Stupid Heart being the first). Encouraging and inspiring, Lisa pleads “Don’t give up looking babe/Don’t give up hoping” in the striking number.
The album ends with Love Can – a soul pop tune appropriately summing up the album’s main theme – all things love. It is a great choice for the album’s final song, ending with an instrumental solo and leaving fans wanting more.
Co-written and produced with long term writing partner Ian Devaney, Seven is daring and well rounded, tracing back to Lisa’s soul and R&B roots in a professional and captivating way. It is a perfect soundtrack for the ups and downs of love and romance – empowering, comforting and full of spirit. Long term fans will be pleased with Lisa’s return and the record is a perfect excuse for new listeners to come aboard.