Back in 1992, I imagine most people saw Saint Etienne as a short-lived indie/dance act, unlikely to live much beyond the shelf life of their first album, Fox Base Alpha. 15 years on and they’re still together and still making music not a million miles from this original blueprint.
Anything that touches the dancefloor tends to date pretty quickly – this album hasn’t. That’s probably because dance was a small element of the sound – there was also dub, indie pop, 60s and 70s nostalgia and some top-notch songwriting. Nothing Can Stop Us Now and People Get Real are still fantastic pop songs – the former never being far from my turntable. There’s also a great cover of the Field Mice’s Kiss And Make Up and of course, the band’s original calling card – the cover of Neil Young’s Only Love Can Break You Heart.
Possibly a little heavy on the instrumentals (Sara Cracknell was still only a guest singer), probably not the band’s best album, but if you want an introduction to Saint Etienne, the beginning is still the best place to start.