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Somersault is Chicane's third official studio album, released on 23 July 2007. It is Chicane's first album self-released on producer and songwriter Nick Bracegirdle's independent record label, Modena Records.

History

"Stoned in Love", the first officially released song from Somersault, was first heard as a single in April 2006, at which time little was known about the then-untitled album. Several other songs that were to appear on the album were first played live by Chicane in concerts during the same month; one of these songs, "Come Tomorrow", was announced as the follow-up single at this time. It was released on July 16, 2007.

In February 2007, Chicane's official website announced his departure from Universal Records, the label that released "Stoned in Love", and the subsequent scheduled release of "Come Tomorrow" and the forthcoming album on Modena; the title Somersault was subsequently announced in March.

Two of the tracks on the album, "Arizona" and "Spirit", are taken from the Easy to Assemble album, which was never officially released after it was widely pirated. Fifty review copies were sent out before the record label WEA changed hands leading to the departure of the A&R manager and music director who had signed him, and its release was put on hold while Bracegirdle negotiated an exit from his contract. The album was subsequently uploaded to a peer-to-peer site and pirated by Russian criminals to such an extent that it was felt that it was not worth releasing it officially. He self-financed Somersault, raising almost £400,000 by selling his Ferrarimarker and remortgaging his house, and when it was released he employed the company Web Sheriff to monitor and close down sites that were distributing the album illegally.

Personnel

In addition to "Stoned in Love", five other songs feature leading male vocals and verse-chorus form lyrics. The singer on these songs (3, 4, 7, 8, 9) is Jack Starks (whereas no previous album has included multiple songs with the same singer).

Track listing

All songs written by Nick Bracegirdle except those noted otherwise.

  1. "Stoned in Love" (featuring Tom Jones) (John Pickering, Nick Bracegirdle, Nigel Butler, Ray Hedges, Tom Jones) – 5:02
  2. "U R Always" (Ernesto Lecuona, Kim Gannon, Bracegirdle, Butler, Hedges) – 5:25
  3. "Come Tomorrow" – 4:47
  4. "Nothing" – 4:09
  5. "Arizona" – 3:01
  6. "Spirit" (featuring Jewel) (Bracegirdle, Tracy Ackerman) – 4:38
  7. "Turning Corners" – 3:58
  8. "Far Away from You" (Humphrey Miles, Bracegirdle) – 3:48
  9. "Way I'm Feelin'" (Bracegirdle, Butler, Hedges) – 4:52
  10. "Time of Your Life" – 2:33


"U R Always" is credited to Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona and American lyricist James "Kim" Gannon due to its incorporation of a vocal performance of the song "Always in My Heart" by Nana Mouskouri. (Previously, the English band Bent made similar use of the song in their 2000 single, "Always".)

Reception

Q magazine gave Somersault one star out of five in its August 2007 issue, criticizing it for being "old-fashioned" in both "house" tracks such as "Always" and "Time of Your Life" and "indie-dance" tracks such as "Come Tomorrow"—which was nevertheless recommended as a download. Virgin Media's album review gave the same rating, also citing a lack of innovation, though it is suggested that those of the "Ibizamarker crowd" could appreciate it. UK fanzine High Voltage offered a rating of three out of five, with similar critique: "Bracegirdle's stubborn, yet kind of heroic refusal to divert from his initial blueprint has seen him become a dinosaur." It also goes on to suggest that the album's "purity" will continue to gain favour with "its demographic"—in reference to nightclub goers. Entertainment guide IndieLondon, however, expressed skepticism that the album would stand out to clubbers, cautioning that it "could just as easily alienate [Bracegirdle's] fans", using "Come Tomorrow", "Nothing", and "Arizona" as examples of songs that attempt to vary from the Ibiza sound but do not fully transcend to new genres. Other reviews were generally unenthusiastic about the album, although the Daily Record was more favourable, describing it as a "summertastic album, perfect for iPod listening during days of recovery on the beach".

Notes and references

  1. Smith, Gary (2007) "Turning the Corner", Billboard, 21 July 2007, p.38
  2. Sinclair, David (2007) "Frontier lawmen ; If the internet is the Wild West of the digital age, then musicians need new-fangled gunslingers to protect them", The Independent, 3 August 2007



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