Straight-up: we really, really like Foxes. There was something about her Louisa Rose Allen’s debut Glorious that felt both emotional and uplifting, a breath of fresh pop that perfectly married original production with that gut-busting vocal.
What seems to have happened since then, thanks to the discerning tastes of the public, is that Allen now seems to be going down the route of The Saturdays. Successful, but not enough to stop her being content doing the rounds of Sunday Brunch.
And, much like The Sats, the pattern in albums is starting to show. One solid, ridiculously great single (Body Talk, duh) followed by an acute sense of diminishing returns. Take a song like Cruel, for example: a one-note, no-man’s-land of a pop track that really shouldn’t have been put here in the first place, let alone so early in the running order.
The general sense pervading through All I Need is that Allen has been stripped of what made her special. There’s nothing as thumping as Talking To Ghosts. If You Leave Me Now doesn’t hit the emotional highs of Night Glo, and nothing matches the crystalline pop of Shaking Heads. Instead, there are near a dozen piano-driven pop tracks like Amazing that just run on the spot.
The sad thing about this all is that Foxes could have been a proper UK pop contender, yet now there’s the sinking feeling that we’ve already seen her best. This is music to soundtrack furniture ads rather than anything remotely memorable, as she’s clearly being outfoxed by a pop landscape that’s way more challenging than what’s on offer here.