BMG Rights Management UK
Release Date: February 10th 2023
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- What the Future Holds
- One For Sorrow
- Heartbreak In This City
- Neon Blue
- Take Me For A Ride
- Baby Love / It’s Not Unusual / Son Of A Preacher Man / Wild Thing / You’re My World / 5,6,7,8 / Groove Is In The Heart
- After The Love Has Gone
- Something In Your Eyes
- Say You’ll Be Mine
- Chain Reaction
- Story Of A Heart / It’s The Way You Make Me Feel
- The Slightest Touch
- A Hundred Years Of Winter
- Last Thing On My Mind
- To the Beat of My Heart / Better Than The Devil You Know
- Love’s Got A Hold On My Heart
- Summer Of Love
- Better Best Forgotten
- Deeper Shade Of Blue
- Here And Now
- Scared Of The Dark
Boy-bands. Girl-groups. Vocal groups. Bands where the members don’t play any instruments and share vocals instead. These days people who sing together in perfect harmony; well, they seem to be extremely popular within the past few years, or maybe even the past decade. Bands like One Direction, Little Mix, Pentatonix, Fifth Harmony, Westlife, Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Spice Girls, Girls Aloud, The Saturdays, The Jackson 5, New Kids On The Block, Blackpink, BTS, The Pussycat Dolls, and Destiny’s Child to name a few (or to name a lot!), are just some of the high profile groups over the years to capture the attention of a few of us, or many of us; as we are introduced to a whole new brand of pop. In the past, I haven’t been actively listening to optimistic, positive music, that girl groups and boy bands mostly record. Aside from CCM I was very sheltered.
However it is through Jon’s and my still-going blog series in 2019, that I started to branch out and listen to all types of music; pop music and vocal groups being one type of music I eventually explored deeply. And what I found out, was that bands like One Direction, Little Mix, Pentatonix, Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, and others; these bands provide to me a sense of peace, calmness, serenity, and comfort, on maybe a different level to any other type of genre. Sure, Christian pop and worship will always resonate to a greater extent than any other type of music- particularly because I am a Christian and I will always gravitate to music that praises Jesus’ name. But pop music with the emphasis on multiple vocalists; they’re something special. The way different singers blend their vocals together; that’s a skill that I admire probably second to beatboxing. And though girl groups and boy bands and vocal groups can come and go, can last a long time, or can sometimes quit after the first album; there is one artist whom I stumbled across last year, who has impacted me greatly, who has flown by under the radar, and who is extremely underrated. There is a band who has inspired me and encouraged me immensely, whom I reckon should be more popular than they already are. British pop/dance group Steps (present in our honourable mentions post in our blog series!) have recorded music since 1997, and with a 12-year hiatus in the middle and now the group being stronger than ever vocally (essentially a 17-year hiatus if you discount the Christmas album in 2012!); the underrated dance pop quintet are ready to recapture the world by storm and to show us that you’re never too old to make a comeback.
Claire Richards, Lee Latchford-Evans, Lisa Scott-Lee, Faye Tozer and Ian “H” Watkins are the members of Steps, and you can read about the group (and the individual members, on their own Wikipedia pages. I won’t go deep into any of these members (because there is a lot to cover), but prior to mid-2020, I hadn’t heard of this underrated ABBA-meets-Westlife-meets-Spice Girls group. It was only when I was surfing the pre-order sections of my Apple Music account one day in 2020 that I stumbled across the pre-order for the 2020 album What The Future Holds. With the band then releasing the album in November 2020, I found myself captivated, transfixed, and enthralled by one of the most underrated pop albums of the last decade. We wanted to review the album for our site, but we never did. But when Steps went one step further in 2021, and unveiled a sequel album called What The Future Holds Pt. 2, I knew I had to review both of these albums. If there is one album that you all need to buy or check out from 2021… then THIS (both volumes of What The Future Holds) would be it. If you do not know anything about Steps, like myself not too long ago; then both What The Future Holds and What The Future Holds Pt. 2 would be the perfect place to start. You can read the review for the album here.
Yet as much as I loved both albums of What The Future Holds and What The Future Holds Pt. 2; this past August was when Steps released probably their most impacting and powerful album yet. The Platinum Collection is a greatest hits release of 43 tracks including remixes and radio edits and new songs. It’s the one stop shop for all things Steps, and an album that I encourage you all to buy. With the album featuring standout songs throughout their whole career- from the early humble beginnings of songs like “Last Thing On My Mind”, “5, 6, 7, 8”, “One For Sorrow”, “Heartbeat”, “Better Best Forgotten” and “Love U More”, to the more recent songs like “A Hundred Years of Winter”, “Take Me On A Ride”, “Heartbreak in This City”, “The Slightest Touch”, “What the Future Holds”, “To the Beat of My Heart”, and “Something in Your Eyes”; Platinum Collection has no faults and is a comprehensive examination of one of the UK’s biggest pop bands that the world still probably doesn’t know about. This past year though, Steps has reminded us again of their durability and their staying power, with What The Future Holds (Live).
Released this past February, What The Future Holds (Live) is a collection of 24 of the band’s biggest hits, each sung in front of the stage. With all 5 members exhibiting an exuberant and energetic sense of happiness and joy from delivering these melodies to all of us, Claire, Faye, Lisa, Lee, and H, all remind us that longevity is possible when you’re doing something you love. With the group singing out fan favourites like “One For Sorrow”, “It’s The Way You Make Me Feel”, “What The Future Holds”, “5 6 7 8”, “Deeper Shade Of Blue”, “Scared Of The Dark”, “Something In Your Eyes”, “Neon Blue”, “The Slightest Touch”, “Stomp”, “Summer Of Love”, “Heartbreak In This City” as well as the Bee Gees cover “Tragedy”, this live project is a sentimental and nostalgia trip for any Steps fan! Even for the casual fan like myself, this album will undoubtedly make you a Steps fan!
With What The Future Holds (Live) being an extensive collection of live hits and an impacting and powerful musical journey through Steps’ discography; this live project is well worth every one of you buying this album, as well as many others in their discography. Steps is not that well known, nor popular, nor influential. But they have proved to us in these songs that friendship and the love of music can last a lifetime, and that a truly timeless artist gets better with age and with experience. It isn’t known what will happen in the future- whether Steps will record another album or not, particularly because each of the 5 vocalists are still embarking on solo careers and other endeavours. But as long as these five individuals stick together and continue as a band; then I’d say we should continue to check out this underrated group, because they have so much to say. Sure, more often than not, these songs are about relationships… but Steps has shown us through these catchy pop songs that there’s never enough songs about the positive and optimistic aspects of life, in your own life! Well done, Claire, Faye, Lee, Lisa and H! I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you all next!
8 songs to listen to: What the Future Holds, Neon Blue, Something In Your Eyes, Chain Reaction, A Hundred Years Of Winter, Deeper Shade Of Blue, Scared Of The Dark, Tragedy
RIYL: ABBA, Westlife, Spice Girls, Jess Glynne, Selena Gomez, Little Mix, NSYNC