If you listened to the radio back in 2002 then you probably don’t remember allSTARS*.
The mixed-gender British pop group wasn’t very successful despite having a children’s television show (see below), a song on the Scooby Doo movie soundtrack, and a top-10 hit in the UK. However, the group had some pretty catchy tunes from their debut album.
allSTARS* consisted of Thaila Zucchi, Sandi Lee Hughes, Rebecca Hunter, Sam Bloom, and Ashley Taylor Dawson who you may recognize as the hunky guy from the British soap Hollyoaks.
The self-titled album consisted of a whopping 16 tracks! Here is my review of each of the songs:
1.) Things That Go Bump In The Night – This is perhaps the best known track from the group, particularly if you are from the US as it’s technically the only song released here. Included on the soundtrack from 2002’s Scooby Doo (and the only Scooby Doo live-action movie, in my opinion, I’m hearing they’re “remaking” it or something).
The track might be my personal favorite on the album. I love the infectious bassline and vocals. The “spooky” theme is fun (Looove the creepy intro) and I include it on my Halloween playlist every year. It was released as the band’s second single, alongside “Is There Something I Should Know.”
2.) The Land Of Make Believe – This is a cover of the 1981 hit single by Bucks Fizz. (Memba them?) It’s a cute song, but the ending is a bit cringe. It was released as the third single from the album and became the group’s biggest hit, reaching #9 in the UK.
3.) Back When – This is another favorite of mine from the album. In fact, it could’ve easily been my favorite song of 2002 if I had listened to the album when it originally came out. It’s catchy, upbeat, and fun. It was also released as a double A-side single alongside “Going All The Way.”
4.) Love Is – This disco-inspired upbeat dance track is very catchy. The chorus is super infectious and could have easily been a single.
5.) Best Friends – Hmmm. OK, this is a song that I do like, but I’d NEVER admit it. The lyrics are unbelievably cheesy “Best Friends, we are best friends, send a message to my best friend, we get together every weekend.”
The song was released as the group’s debut single and reached #20 in the UK. It also served as the theme song to their TV show, STARStreet.
6.) Happy Ever After Endings – Bubblegum pop at its finest. This song is very Aqua-esqe and would have been a great club track if we were still in 2002.
7.) Going All The Way – This song whelms me. I don’t love it and I don’t hate it. It was released as a single along with “Back When”, but I don’t think it really needed to be. Personally, it doesn’t stand out with the tracks I’ve listened to thus far.
8.) You Got It Bad – I really like this one. In fact, it’s possibly my second favorite on the album. The vocals are on point and the beat is funky with a disco-feel. Love the subtle reference to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”
9.) Tearing Up The World – Another catchy upbeat song. I feel like it could’ve been better with a different production.
10.) You’re A Fool – OMG this beat is sooooo 2000. It’s OK for what it is. I am getting Destiny’s Child vibes from this one.
11.) Butterflies – And this one is very 90s sounding.
It actually reminds me of another artist I’ve heard before, but I can’t think of it. I figured it out. It reminds me of Billie Piper.
12.) Once Upon A Lifetime – We haven’t had a ballad in a while, so here we are with “Once Upon A Lifetime.” It sounds similar to S Club 7’s “Two In A Million”, but fails to deliver. Pretty forgettable.
13.) Lost Without You –
Another ballad. Another forgettable track. Actually, after listening to this track more it’s grown on me. I think I do like it after all.
14.) Greatest Love Story – MORE CHEESE! I’d be so embarrassed to play this track in front of anyone, but I secretly like it :O. It’s fun, catchy, upbeat. We could have done without Ashley’s talking bits, but overall I like it.
15.) Train Of Thought – Oh dear. The lyrics tho. “A magic ticket ride this train of thought, Woo Woo babe, I got the key to your heart, are you ready climb aboard with me, Woo ooh baby now.” I think this one should have been named “Abstain Of Thought” instead.
16.) Is There Something I Should Know – This song is a cover of Duran Duran’s 1983 single. allSTARS* version is pretty good, but shouldn’t have been the albums closing track.
Whew! 16 songs is a lot for an album, especially by today’s standards. There was also a special edition of the album released with a second disc of remixes.
I liked it, but then again I’m a sucker for 90s/2000s cheesy pop acts. Expect more #throwback reviews in the coming days.
I give this gem 3 1/2 out of 5. I would have given it four if it hadn’t been for the cheesy ass lyrics. They could have also done away with some of the weaker tracks making it a solid album of its time. Stream it (if you have an hour to kill) and check out the music videos below: