Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Flashback: Sarah Cracknell "Anymore" (1996)

Sarah Cracknell, the sexy front woman for consistently brilliant Saint Etienne, put out a solo record Lipslide in the UK in 1997, only released in butchered form during 2000 in the US, which was an attempt to distance herself from her apparent "just a pretty face" reputation by proving her artistic and songwriting muscle outside the group. Ultimately the album flopped commercially despite a few fantastic songs on it. She had this to say about why:

I had a lot of trouble with the label I was on [Gut Records]. They weren't very nice to me. It wasn't a great relationship, between me and the label.
I think they were just trying to turn me into something and the thing was I don't think they ever listened to a Saint Etienne album, do you know what I mean? I didn't realize it at the time. It's one of the first thing you'd do, I would think.
So, it was a real struggle and I was very unhappy. I was very happy when the album was finished and I'm proud of it, but they then pretty much didn't put it out. They put it out just about. They didn't promote it at all or do anything.

: I think that's a fair assessment. I remember hearing that they deleted the second single "Goldie" for some odd reason and the maybe-it-exists-maybe-it-doesn't third single "Desert Baby" has the exact same sleeve as the "Anymore" single.

Speaking of "Anymore" I've become re-enamored with the song recently and have been listening to the single on repeat in the car recently. The most striking thing about this Stephen Hague produced the track is just how completely effortless it sounds. Purely electronic for most of the song it has a subtle build that goes from quiet digital pianos to Hague's trademark lush sound with a live Motown-esque horn section introduced in the last third of the song that is just the right thing to take the song to the next level at just the right moment. Even if pop perfection might be a bit of an overstatement it is a great song that deserved a better showing than peaking at number 39 on the UK singles chart. The video has Sarah doing a bit of acting as a pout-prone gas station attendant which doesn't work that well just like most other pop stars pretending to work at dull every-day jobs videos:

: According to some Sarah will next be heard covering Dusty Springfield's "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten" with Marc Almond on his forthcoming 2007 album. Just don't look for any information on his site because it's the most paranoid promotional site that I've ever encountered where you can't copy-and-paste anything from the site and it's "news" section largely consists of denying rumors.

No comments: