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Album Review

Saint Etienne's glossy chanteuse Sarah Cracknell picks up where her debut album Lipslide left off with the exclusive release of Kelly's Locker, an eight track look at Cracknell's sheer Europop harmonies and dreamy female grace. She is often compared to '60s pop diva Dusty Springfield, but Cracknell is humbly her own popstar. This release is a bit more synth-driven, and songs like "Taking off for France" and "Taxi" exude a sophisticated disco flair that's naturally linked to Cracknell's sweet but smooth persona. She follows the funk, playing into quick blues tinges and frolicking drum 'n' bass. What's most alluring is Cracknell's cover version of the Charmels' 1969 Stax track "Sea Shells." It's absolutely fantastic; modern day breakbeats loosely carrying back to nostalgia. Kelly's Locker is a refreshing and decent solo effort for Ms. Cracknell; a fundamental addition to any Saint Etienne collection or pop music enthusiast.


Formed: 1988 in Croydon, London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Like most bands formed by former music journalists, Saint Etienne were a highly conceptual group. The trio's concept was to fuse the British pop sounds of '60s London with the club/dance rhythms and productions that defined the post-acid house England of the early '90s. Led by songwriters Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, and fronted by vocalist Sarah Cracknell, the group managed to carry out their concept, and, in the process, Saint Etienne helped make indie dance a viable genre within the U.K. Throughout...
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Kelly's Locker, Saint Etienne
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