After the enormous worldwide success of their eponymous debut album (2002), Dirty Vegas were obviously still struggling to come up with a good album title, and so One (2004) was the follow-up.
It’s also fair to accuse them of having struggled with finding their sound. The rock-played-on-synths-to-a-dance-beat style of the debut gave way to a much more traditional rock sound with One, and sadly that really didn’t do them any favours.
The first track is Roses, a pleasant enough opener, but one which was really never going to set the world alight. This leads us to Home Again, which is just a bit dull – it’s nice enough, but it doesn’t go anywhere in particular, and it spends nearly five minutes trying. Maybe a bit of selective editing would have helped.
Human Love is one of the two tracks which really are good – as good as anything on the first album, in fact. By the time it turns up it’s actually a bit of a surprise, as you’ve waded through the first couple of tracks to get to this point. This could easily have been the second single though, if it had ever come to that.
The one single from this album was Walk Into the Sun, and it’s by far the best track on the album – it almost feels like false advertising actually, as this is clearly so much better than most of the songs on here. Catchy chorus, strong lyrics, and really it has everything it needs.
But the rest of the album is going to make for depressing reading. They’re all nice enough – Closer is a pleasant song, and A Million Ways does demonstrate some faint echoes of the previous album. Don’t Throw It Away! is probably the best of the latter half of the album, but even that’s a bit meaningless and empty.
And so it goes on – In This Life and Given You Everything are nice enough, but they were never going to change the world, and album closer Save Me Now is a bit on the dull side too. This is fine as background music, but if you’re looking for something to grab you by the throat then this is not it.
In 2004, the charts were still important to most acts, and Dirty Vegas really weren’t performing well. They had also lost their stride in the US, the country which broke them in the first place, so they didn’t have an awful lot left. Walk Into the Sun struggled into the bottom end of the chart, and the album scraped a minor hit. It would be another seven years before the reasonably good Electric Love would signal their comeback, and that seems to be the time it took them to work out who they were again. But at the time that One arrived, they really weren’t sure.
You can still find One at all major retailers, and you can also enjoy some pretentious reviews at the same link if you’re bored.