For any artist 30 years in the game is quite the achievement but for Louise it’s particularly impressive. Proving that she’s a true pop survivor Louise is celebrating her greatest hits with a compilation that looks back on a golden period in the 90s while crucially reminding us that just because you’ve been around a while doesn’t mean you’re ready for the scrap heap. Louise is thriving like never before.
It takes some confidence to kick off your hits collection with four new songs but that shows how energised Louise is from the disco pop bounce of comeback single ‘Super Magic’ to the soulful and soaring ‘High Hopes’, Louise positions herself in the empowering dance pop mould that current artists like Emile Sande and Jessie Ware as well as the legendary Kylie occupy and y’know what she feels right at home.
The other new songs – ‘Feel’ and ‘Right Now’ – bubble with enough spark and attitude to remind you this isn’t a nostalgia trip before a beautiful cover of Janet Jackson’s tender ode to absent friends in ‘Together Again’ rounds off the new portion of the compilation before it’s time to get to the bangers. Of course there are bangers. Re-recorded with added sheen, ‘Naked’ and ‘2 Faced’ are ebullient slices of pop joy while she also goes right back to the beginning with a reimagining of two Eternal classics in ‘Stay’ and ‘Just A Step From Heaven’.
Louise might not be the most acclaimed pop legend but in 2023 after overcoming some tough times she’s out here reminding us that there was more to top tier UK pop in the 90s and early noughties than the all conquering Spice Girls and All Saints and Louise has struck the perfect balance between fondly looking back and boldly looking forward.
Words: Martyn Young