Alas, "Sophia Loren" wasn't released until 2010 when it was relegated to b-side status. Instead, the album got a name change to "Straight From The Heart" and a new single, "Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)", where La Bex received a featured credit with Freemasons, was issued as the first track. Inexplicably, it peaked at #15 on the UK singles chart in June 2009. The album was scheduled to follow and then never appeared.
Nearly a year later, with Freemasons at the production helm with Biffco, "Bittersweet" was released and peaked at #25. Again, the album was supposed to hit the "shops" a couple of weeks after the release of the single, but it was held back even though its tracklisting had been revealed.
Then, we all thought it would surely be released when it was announced La Bex would be opening for Pet Shop Boys on their summer jaunt through the UK. No single appeared. Not a mention of the album. The wicked finger of fate seemed to indicate that the album would linger longer on the label's storage shelves.
Recently, it was announced Sophie's next single would be another featured credit. This time, she'll be cuddling up close on the mic with renowned producer and DJ, Armin Van Buuren, for "Not Giving Up" which will appear on both his forthcoming album, "Mirage", and La Bex's "Straight From The Heart".
Here's a preview of the single followed by a pumped up reswizzling from Dash Berlin and a lovely acoustic rendition.
The tracklisting for "Straight To The Heart" remains relatively unchanged after nearly a year since the elpee was originally slated for release.
1. Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)
3. Off & On
8. Cut Straight To The Heart
9. Dial My Number
11. Under Your Touch
13. Not Giving Up
On paper, it pushes all the right buttons. It's full of high octane, electro numbers with collaborations and contributions from the current crops of pop's top talent. Calvin Harris, Richard X, Cathy Dennis, Greg Kurstin, Róisín Murphy, Freemasons and Biffco all have a hand in the album.
So what's going on? Well, the current state of pop in the UK has waned from the glory days when Xenomania had the magic touch. One by one, from Mini Viva to The Saturdays, Girls Can't Catch and Paloma Faith - all acts that would've been embraced by Radio 1 in the past - have received a cold reception.
Even with "All Time Low" by The Wanted at numero uno last week and Kylie peaking at #3 with "All The Lovers", programmers at the BBC have turned their noses up at the notion of playing pop music across its majestic airwaves. Instead, it has succumbed to same problem that US radio has. Hip hop and R&B rule the day without any room for a solid slab of pop. Even someone like Enrique Iglesias gets a hit by slapping a rapper on his shitty, little, tuneless travesty of a single. The result? A hit.
However, pop music has flourished on the European continent. Acts like La Bex are receiving a much warmer welcome in territories like Germany, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, France and Spain. So, the game plan has changed. With SEB having scored a #13 hit on the singles chart in France with a featured credit on Junior Caldera's single, "Can't Fight This Feeling", all eyes are on the Continent for pop success.
Srsly. With flawless porcelain skin, angular jaw and the best cheekbones in pop, La Bex cuts a shape all her own. Her highly stylized image is more posh gay boy in the Kylie mode than it is average pop slag like Ke$ha and Katy Perry. A cut above not the cat's behind. Therein lies the problem. Reality TV, the dumbing down of entertainment and the sheer acceptance of lowest common denominator (ie. drunk girls and whipped cream titties) has left little room for a classy broad like La Bex and her sparkling pop baubles.