It only just hit me that I've not actually reviewed the Elouise EP myself. Crazy! Its been reviewed by the legendary Popjustice (yay!) and played on American Radio by the legendary Radio DJ Larry Flick (yay!). So much has happened that I forgot to look at the EP myself. I initially thought this might not be good idea seeing as I'm actually involved in the Elouise project. Yes, I must declare an interest here..and a consequent massive partiality. Still, I thought to myself whether I'd be connected to the project or not I'd still fucking love it and ultimately feature Elouise on DSTP. Why? Because it contains all the kind of particles that make my pop universe sparkle especially when I drift into music dreamland. So here is my review of the new songstress from Manchester...Elouise & the Stardust EP....
First off all, the Stardust EP is produced by Steven Anderson. He, along with Dave Seaman, wrote classics like Confide In Me and Such A Good Feelin'. He's also Kylie's musical director. Since 1997, he's responsible for the music you hear on Kylie's tours. Steve also reworked Rent on the West End and of course most recently outlined the music for Kylie's North American tour. He's just come back from directing the music for the Westlife tour as well as the Christophe Willem tour in France. Also, involved is Terry Ronald who has previously worked with Dannii Minogue, Dirty Vegas, Girls Aloud & The Saturdays.
Well, this is pure James Bond land. Clearly inspired by the Shirley Bassey's discography infused with Dusty Springfields most dramatic points. Think I Close My Eye's And Count to Ten merged with Garbages The World Is Not Enough and you've got Another Day. The clarity of Elouise's voice is what immediately strikes me. There is no trilling. Its just a very simple and big vocal by Elouise. Another Day also contains a huge key change that has the tendency to blow out my speakers. I've been known to get out my royal-blue bedsheets and drag up to Another Day. It soars. If your a fan of Kylie's Flower or Bittersweet Goodbye (also co-written by Steve Anderson) you might also like Another Day.
Pretender is the one Popjustice picked as the Song of the day. Its a different sort of torch ballad to Another Day. At first I thought this song was about heartbreak but listening to the lyrics I actually think this is about those early budding feelings of love. Elouise confesses that she's walking in her loved ones garden. Naked. Its a narrative of early love & that tentative yet scary hope the other person feels the same way as he or she feels about you. Such moments of love are incredibly vulnerable & this song, I think, is about that rawness. It really taps into it. Musically, one might compare this to Robbie Williams' very own torch ballad Angels.
The middle eight is drastically dramatic with Elouise singing a note that throws you to the rings of Saturn. You have to really hear it to believe it. You rarely hear singers putting out music with a massive note like you hear in Pretender. Indeed the middle eight deserves its own postal code its that huge. Another song that, if the price is right and the stars are aligned correctly, gets me pulling out the bedsheets and dragging up as if I was some tragic torch song diva in post-war France. Which is really what its all about it really. Utterly epic.
Rounding off the perfect trio of lovesongs is the self-penned Fireman of My Dreams. Think Santa Baby, Tears On My Pillow and the cuteness of Kylie's Loveboat from her Light Years album and you've got Fireman of My Dreams. Its damn dirty but a necessary respite from the massive ballads that come before it. In the dictionary of music, I'm sure kitsch is listed and this song fills the entry. Steve Anderson and Elouise turn up the camp to hyper level so much so it led Mike Wass of the Australian blog PopAddicts to declare Fireman Of My Dreams was "the campest thing to be released by a female in a long time". Which is saying something.