Warner - 2004 - 41 minutes

It's been four years since the four combat-clad funky ladies that called themselves All Saints went their separate ways, cutting short a career that could have been exploited for far longer. Shaznay Lewis, writer of some of the group's biggest hits, has surprisingly been beaten to the solo stage by all of her former band mates.

Lewis herself claims that she had trouble shaking the band's style when it came to writing new material and that the time it has taken her to produce this album has been spent fine-tuning a distinct new direction for her music.

Sometimes, however, you listen to 'Open' and think it could be an All Saints recording ('Mr Weatherman') while other times you feel that Lewis has indeed shed that tag ('I Never Felt Like This Before'). But most often it seems that Lewis has shed the best parts of her performance style and polished her material so much that she has lost what was most unique about her - the distinctive gritty edge that she brought to All Saints.

While the material on 'Open' is pretty catchy, it's a shame for Lewis' sake that the tracks that cling to your memory are the ones that remind you most of the hip-swinging, shoulder-shaking quartet.

Linda McGee

Tracklisting: Intro/Open - Dance - I Never Felt Like This Before - Mr Dawg - Heart Made - Me A Fool - You - Mr Weatherman - Butterflies - Nasty Boy - Radio - Now You're Gone.