Beginning her career as a dance over two-decades ago, Anastacia is a pop-icon that has been sorely missed from the music industry. Her debut Not That Kind in 2000 had a string of multi-platinum selling hits, and set the foundations for her continued musical journey. It’s been six years since her last record, but now Anastacia has returned with new album Our Songs.
Opener Best Days has a flair of early 2000s guitar begin the song, but diverts into a slow-building power ballad. The chorus, complete with choral backing vocals, is lifting, but not overstated. Now or Never brings the tempo back up, lead by driving drums and funk inspired guitars. Anastacia’s voice bellows and growls as though no time has past between her early hits and now. It adds so much to song such as this and followup Beautiful, a piano steeped ballad breaming with positivity. Still Loving You is the most ambitious song on the record, taking a lead out of Guns ’n’ Roses playbook, channeling November Rain with powerful electric guitars and electrifying solo passages.
Cello starts fittingly with strings and piano, Anastacia crooning lyrics about her love interest’s musical occupation. This leads wonderfully into Just You, a song where she is accompanied by German singer and legend Peter Maffay. Maffay begins the song, and the pair feed lines to each other, their voices melding perfectly together. It’s one of the highlights on the album. Another is Supergirl, the naughties-tinged acoustic ballad finding the ideal blend of nostalgic and contemporary. The album concludes on the fittingly sweet An Angel. It’s one of the stronger ballads, and finishes the record on a high.
Our Songs is a mid-paced, but sweet album, chocked full of ballads and sing-along moments. While there are no stand-out uptempo tunes to dance to, listeners will be pleasantly surprised by Anastacia’s versatility. Her voice, also, is as powerful as ever, and that alone makes this an album to listen to.
Writer and Musician, Ryan Bulbeck has been published with a number of online publications, and has worked with a myriad of great artists, both as a performer, and as a producer. His most recent band The 295 are still active, playing shows around the UK.