When Louisa Rose Allen released her debut album almost two years ago, she sounded as bland as an unsalted cracker. A tour with Pharrell and an appearance on BBC’s Doctor Who later, and not much has changed musically for the Southampton native.
On her sophomore album, the English songstress – better known by her stage name Foxes – still struggles to sound even remotely remarkable. Sure, lead single Body Talk – with its retro disco vibe and solid songwriting – hints at some kind of nostalgic 80s synthpop greatness, but that promising prelude is all but lost on Allen’s latest studio endeavour.
There are glimmers of pop grandeur on tracks like the melodramatically repetitive Cruel and the frenetically thumping Feet Don’t Fail Me Now.
Elsewhere, the album disappointingly fizzles out. The more upbeat numbers lack vigour while the ballads are downright lethargic. All this makes for a dull listening experience akin to mindlessly switching TV channels on a Monday night.
Despite airtight production and commendable songcraft, it’s easy to just glaze over All I Need’s lengthy running time. Much of the record’s failure has to do with Allen’s generic disposition as a popstar. The 26-year-old can’t decide whether she wants to be an indie darling or a mainstream dance vixen. That indecisiveness shows and in Allen’s case, it might just lead to a premature downfall.
All I Need