Earlier this year Steps announced that not only were they reuniting for their milestone anniversary, but they would be returning with their first studio album since 2012’s Light Up The World. With the reception for their fourth studio album having been a little more lukewarm than they would have hoped, the group are determined to ensure that this return is on their terms and has the impact they deserve as one of the highest selling UK acts of all time.
Appropriately titled Tears On The Dancefloor, Steps approached the project with a real air of secrecy. While their last project enjoyed the hype of a reality TV documentary launch, the group must be feeling excited that the joy their latest single Scared of the Dark has elicited from their still loyal fans has been on its own merits rather than their raised profile.
Fans will be equally excited to learn that the record itself is every bit as brilliant as the single that propelled them back into publications the nation over. Steps are best remembered for their infectious, unforgettable pop anthems that have you singing along and learning a new routine. While the overall sound of Tears On The Dancefloor is more dance-pop that cheese-fest, there is plenty of material hear to practice in front of your mirror ahead of a big night out.
Story Of A Heart is the Steps cut we have all been waiting for. While they appeared as part of the ABBA tribute single Thank ABBA For The Music back in 1999, Story Of A Heart sees Steps finally deliver a more contemporary ABBA driven sound with their flawless reinterpretation of this 2009 Benny Andersson Band cut. Another highlight is the deceptive You Make Me Whole. Opening a ballad before exploding into an upbeat uplifting anthem, this joins Tragedy and One For Sorrow as a Steps classic.
With Lisa Scott-Lee having explored the Euro-dance sound as part of her solo project, Happy is an unsurprising new direction for the group, but one which will resonate with fans. This is a song that deserves to be #1 around the world. While the Little Mix drive of Neon Blue is the album’s weak point, the band close with the memorable stomp of I Will Love Again, leaving you wanting more and immediately returning to start the record for the umpteenth time.
Steps made it clear when they announced their return that they were refreshed and revitalised. Fans can applause their return louder than they already were as this is the record they have been waiting for since 2000’s Buzz.