It’s been a busy couple of years for multi-million record selling artist Sophie Ellis-Bexter; wrapping up her international tour supporting her previous album Make A Scene, dancing away to fourth place on TV hit show Strictly Come Dancing, and completing work on her current album Wanderlust which came out in January. Thus far Wanderlust has had a good run, it has been her highest charting solo album since 2001; Young Blood was released as the album’s leading single, it was announced that Runaway Daydreamer would follow shortly after the LP’s release. Critics have noted that Sophie has ditched her renowned dance floor vibe, so let’s have a look into the new single and see if the starlet’s new sound does her justice.
Immediately we are introduced to Runaway Daydreamer’s sentimentally instrumental arrangement, a lighter and more gentle touch to opening a pop song with strings and the slight tap of the drums. It is all low key when Sophie’s cue arrives, with her shaky and breathy vocals that either captures the daydream state of mind of the protagonist or questions whether Sophie is heading down the right path vocally; but there’s an ongoing theme about being so trapped and imagining an escape, so if we take a more artistic approach to the vocal arrangement we could easily say that Sophie deliberately sings as if she was reserved. Instrumentally the song doesn’t shine or stand out too much, it remains set in its ways and the bridge could have a little more substance; it’s a little easy to grow weary of the strings, keys and basic beat.
Runaway Daydreamer does show us a new outlook on the artist that had been lying within Sophie Ellis-Bexter all these years, she has been around for a while now and Wanderlust has already been acclaimed to be her most darkest and emotional album to date. The song demonstrates a new sound venture for Sophie, but it isn’t the most spectacular stand out track expected from a single release. It just needs something a little more, even if it had more vocal contribution to enhance the raw emotion felt in the verses and chorus. Thanks for refreshing us with your new sound Sophie, Runaway Dreamer is a nice track, but perhaps we were expecting a little bit more.