Out of 5: 2 Stars
reviewed by David Mendes
Pure Shores is one of a few songs I can listen to again and again and enjoy just as much every time. I’ve been vowing to buy the single for months now, but have just never got round to it. Each time I heard it on the radio, I’d reach for the remote control, crank up the volume and be instantly transported to that exquisitely beautiful tropical island The Beach was filmed on (Pure Shores was featured on the movie soundtrack).
Well, imagine my enthusiasm when I was offered the opportunity to write a review in exchange for a copy of Saints and Sinners. It all looked so promising – the packaging and accompanying photos so slick and eye-catching, I was expecting to be blown away with brilliance. Alas, it was not to be!
Apart from Pure Shores and Black Coffee, the rest of the songs failed to make an impression. Sure, they bear all the trademarks of what’s considered cool (a bit of scratching here, some phat bass there), but if you were to take that away, I don’t think there’d be a helluva lot left. It reminded me in places of TLC and SWV, while others say they think it sounds a bit like Mel B’s latest CD (“weak R’n’B bollocks”). The beat and lyrics are often repetitive and banal and that’s pretty much it, I’m afraid to say.
From what I can gather, much of their recent success seems to be in large part due to William Orbit, who helped co-write Pure Shores along with Saints’ vocalist and songwriter Shaznay Lewis. For those not in the know, Orbit’s been Madonna’s right-hand-man for the last couple of years and the pair worked together on Music, which is climbing charts around the world at the moment. He has also become well known for his own hypnotic ambient/trance releases in recent years, e.g. Little Fluffy Clouds and Water From A Vine Leaf.
The Saints should thank their lucky stars he was prepared to come to the rescue. If it wasn’t for him, I reckon this album would’ve been a total disaster – it really is that abysmal. As a fellow critic summed it up, “You can’t polish a turd, even with a million quid’s worth of studio-enhanced Mr Sheen!”
Yep, the general consensus seems to be that apart from having nice voices and pretty faces, there’s not much substance to this band. Apparently Natalie and Nicole Appleton, the two attractive blondes in the band, have also not done much to endear themselves to the British public, so much so that they were sarcastically referred to as “pure whores” by some of their detractors!
Perhaps they should seriously consider exploring other avenues, for example modelling. (I would’ve suggested acting, but they’ve already done that. The film in question, Honest, was slated by critics and bombed at the box office.) ‘Nuff said…