Wanderlust, the 5th studio album from British musician Sophie Ellis-Bextor was released January 20th 2014.
The lead single Young Blood was released November 2014 and became Sophie’s 11th top 75 UK hit.W
Sophie also achieved her 5th top 40 album in the UK and her 3rd top 10 in total. The album debuted at #4 becoming her second highest charting album. Her debut album still remains its highest peak which was a #2 back in 2001.
The record however did top the UK Indie Albums Chart.
All songs were written and composed by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Ed Harcourt.
Track by track review
1. Birth Of An Empire
It’s clear from the first track this is not your ordinary Sophie disco pop album. This track has perfectly sung vocals with a slight Florence-esque feel to it. 7/10
2. Until the Stars Collide
Very fairytale like. You can imagine this having a very storytelling music video to it. 7/10
3. Runaway Daydreamer
Very single worthy. The chorus reminds me of her 2007 single ‘Me And My Imagination’ but slowed down. 8/10
4. The Deer & the Wolf
It’s quite cute, but a little sloppy in places. The lyrics aren’t the best on the album either. 5/10
5. Young Blood
A boring ballad if I’m honest. I expected far better, especially as a first single release. It may grow on me but as of now it’s not doing anything for me. 4/10
A cool interlude. The instrumental is fun and reminds me of an old film credits. 7/10
7. 13 Little Dolls
A stand out track for sure. It’s the most upbeat track on the record which makes a nice change since we’re so used to moving to Sophie’s music. It may not be a disco number, but it is a great track. 8/10
8. Wrong Side of the Sun
Very blissful and parts of it remind me of Enya. One of the highlight tracks. Another single worthy track that deserves a beautiful scenery video. 8/10
9. Love Is A Camera
Another beautiful track with a very fun outro. It’s another song with an old fashioned film vibe to it. 7/10
10. Cry to the Beat of the Band
Too repetitive and not much meaning to it. Chorus is a little annoying too. 5/10
11. When the Storm Has Blown Over
Ending the album a real slow note. This track kind of sums up majority of the album, beautiful songs but a little forgettable by the time you have finished listening to it all. 6/10
Overall album rating: 6/10
Key tracks: Runaway Dreamer, 13 Little Dolls, Wrong Side of the Sun, Love Is A Camera
This new direction for Sophie works for a few songs, but for a whole record it’s a little too much. Either we’re just too used to her doing pop songs for too long or maybe this new direction should just be a one off only. Even though Sophie hasn’t said all the rest of her records will be this sound, it doesn’t mean she’s never going to do it again. For me personally if this was a 5 track EP it would have worked wonderfully but a whole album doesn’t work. I think she gave it a great shot and I’m happy the album is having success but please return to that great pop stuff you were doing in the early days please.