Friday, August 17th, 2018

All Saints – After All

After “All” comes… Saints. I mean, duh…


Ramzi Awn: We all know the story: girl falls in love, girl gets her heart broken, girl winds up on a beach with her Walkman and a sea of nostalgia listening to “After All.” All Saints’ mystical synths and slow burn vocals hint at a prog rock influence, and the track would be right at home on the soundtrack of art house horror flick It Follows.

Peter Ryan: Consumed with what’s irrevocably lost, overtly nostalgic in text and sound, almost too “All Saints and Orbit reunite in 2018”-by-numbers. But Lewis’s writing plays chicken with cliché — maudlin, elegantly suspended ruminations on the barely-remembered but long-settled, bowled over by a chorus grasping fervently at a shadow of a thread — “there was something ’bout the way you used to love.” Like that one thing could be enough to transcend the inconvenient rules that bind its subjects to the present, like speaking it (there was something) could make it tangible once more. But the All Saints know that recollections only get weaker, and there’s no narrative fix for bad timing.

Ian Mathers: On the one hand if you played this to me blind, I’m not sure I’d guess that it’s All Saints, but on the other I would still enjoy it quite a bit, and I think I would guess it’s from a group that’s been around for a while. Sometimes youngsters and/or novices can pull off this level of bittersweet, but not often.

Will Adams: William Orbit’s drifting synth lines entice as usual, but then the song derails into a pile of clattering drums that crowd everything. The chorus is even worse for this, adding hi-hat skitters and snare rolls and cumbersome kicks on top of it all. “After All” aims for dramatics and leaves me yearning for an alternate Orbit/UK girl group collab that offers more warmth.

Stephen Eisermann: The ethereal, almost supernatural sounding production piles on the nostalgia more heavily than even the women singing can, but it works to the songs benefit. “After All” manages to transport anyone listening to the late-90s when these power-pop mid-tempos were prevalent, and sometimes a trip down memory lane is good for the soul.

Claire Biddles: “After All” has the aloof frothiness that All Saints do well, but it’s too forgettable to stick. It’s perhaps unfair to compare this to their imperial phase, but I can’t help thinking about how “Pure Shores” did feather-light delicacy just right.

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