Anastacia: Evolution review – melodic, warm pop-rock alternative | Music

Even in her heyday, Anastacia was no pop ingenue. Thirty-two when she broke through with her 2000 disco-funk debut single I’m Outta Love, her self-possession, strong, severe vocals and impressive collection of tinted glasses stood in satisfyingly for the usual writhing coquettishness. She fell off the radar in the mid-noughties amid health troubles – but scored massive success with Left Outside Alone, which combined Evanescence-style melodrama with a stonking pop chorus. Evolution, her seventh album, is unlikely to propel her back into similar levels of stardom, but it once again provides a welcome alternative to the current pop status quo – a slightly nauseating sound that mixes nursery rhyme chants with loud, abrasive production. Managing to feel anthemic in a gentler and more pleasingly melodic way, its songwriting proves as robust as Anastacia’s still inimitable pipes, genre-hopping between rock, dance and slower, musical-style numbers with dexterity and warmth.

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