Released: September 22
Returning with her eighth album and her first full-length project in six years, Anastacia’s latest LP, ‘Our Songs’, sees the US diva tackle a wide-ranging selection of German pop classics.
An intriguing covers concept spanning tracks released between 1980 and 2020, the 12-song collection includes original English-language versions and songs translated from German for a record that’s at times reassuringly familiar, while often appearing distinctly original.
Take lead single and album opener, Best Days, Anastacia’s rendition of German punk rock band Die Toten Hosen’s Tage Wie Diese (Days Like These); a loosely-translated reinterpretation with roaring guitars, stadium-sized drums and a trademark vocal showcase from the performer, setting the tone for her most globally-minded project to date.
Now Or Never sees her elevate Johannes Oerding’s An Guten Tagen with soaring backing vocals that build to a massive crescendo over the final chorus, while Reamonn’s Supergirl – released in 2000, the same year Anastacia made her chart debut – is an aptly-fitting lyric as she declares, ‘Supergirls don’t cry / Supergirls just fly’.
A brooding take on The Scorpions’ glam metal power ballad Still Loving You is among the more universally recognisable tracks on the project, along with a stirring rendition of Alphaville’s Forever Young, that builds from a mellow opening to a belter of a vocal finale, one of several show-stopping moments in her unfaltering delivery, along with her heart-tugging take on Sarah Connor’s Wie Schön Du Bist (Beautiful) and closing number, The Kelly Family’s An Angel.
Meanwhile, numbers like Udo Lindenberg’s Cello see Anastacia pull back and let the music do the talking, often with as much if not greater impact than her signature belts.
As an album, ‘Our Songs’ is a fine collection of material; over four decades, each song has proven itself to be a hit and with a vocalist as adept as Anastacia taking command over the project, they couldn’t be in safer hands. What’s less convincing is the overall concept, which despite being perhaps her most international work at times feels more of a passion project than the return of one of the most successful pop acts of the 2000s after more than half a decade.
There’s no doubt that, vocally, Anastacia is at the top of her game, but after a victory lap tour celebrating 20 years of success it’s just a shame she didn’t bounce back with a fresh new record that captures the magic of her golden era and reintroduces one of pop’s finest voices to a new generation of fans.