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Shakespeares Sister, Singles Party (1988-2019) - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Entertainment | Published:

When news circulated that Shakespeares Sister were coming back for a reunion tour, it was only a matter of time before something like this came along to cash in on the hype.

The album artwork

Having called it quits for a second time in 2013, fans would probably have been thinking that was it. But earlier this year they announced comeback shows for November.

And depending on how much you are willing to spend, there is a one-disc 18-track celebration of the good times or a 32-track deluxe edition with rarities, unreleased material and a few funk-filled remixes to boot.

The singles won't need much introduction for anyone in tune with the pop scene from the late 80s into the mid-90s before they first split in 1996.

READ MORE: Shakespears Sister to play Birmingham as part of reunion tour

The Madonna-esque, pained vocals of super-hit Stay, the African vibes of the synth-pop number You're History and the stadium anthem feel to Hello (Turn Your Radio On) with its encapsulating, lengthy guitar solo are all big pop hits of yesteryear.

What is really interesting on the first disc are the two new tracks. All The Queen's Horses is a bit of a country rock romp with soft percussion and an overlaying of strings to ramp up the atmosphere from section to section. The second is the brilliantly named C U Next Tuesday. This time we're dallying in blues rock with a much more encroaching percussion section amid the jangling guitars and keys. This is a great track.

And finishing this segment off is an acoustic version of Stay which opens up even more emotion than the original. Its tight production makes it really impress upon the conciousness and the vocals from Siobhan Fahey, also previously of Bananarama of course, sound fantastic at this pitch.

Another previously unreleased track kicks off the deluxe edition disc. It's wonderfully bonkers - a spoken word religious recital called Cat Worship. Honestly, words can't really capture what is going on there.

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Of the remixes, the Catz 'n Dogz reworking of You're History almost feels like a Moby B-side with its continual bass reverb and electro wizardry stumbling almost haphazardly over the top. It's got a really hopeful feel to the melodies.

The warning-siren aura of the remastered track Singles Party is also a high point.

Rating: 8/10

Shakespeares Sister play the penultimate date of their reunion tour at Birmingham's Symphony Hall in November.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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