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‘Stretch’: Louise Is Back, and She Wants to Get Physical

Louise Stretch Heavy Love

Louise is ready to break a sweat.

If you’re not of the United Kingdom (and/or are somewhat obsessively into British pop like some of us), you might not already know of Louise Elizabeth Redknapp née Nurding, formerly a member of British girl group Eternal.

After the group released their record-breaking, over one million-selling debut album Always And Forever in 1993, Louise left the group to embark on a solo career – or, as it’s more commonly referred to, she “pulled a Geri.”

The risk paid off, and Louise went on to release a handful of successful solo albums and a dozen Top 20 UK hits – including “Naked,” “Undivided Love,” “Arms Around the World” and “2 Faced” – selling over 15 million records worldwide. But after a stalled fourth studio album, Louise effectively stopped releasing music for 16 years…until now, that is.

“Stretch,” out on Tuesday (March 26), is the first taste of Louise’s forthcoming album Heavy Love, her first album with her new ADA/Warners label deal – and also her first studio album in 18 years. The record will be out on October 18, and boasts work with Clean Bandit, RAYE, Eg White, Sinead Harnett and the prolific Karen Poole.

“Making this album has been a real emotional and honest process for me. It’s been 18 years since I went into a recording studio, and with no expectations I’ve come out with a body of work which I am so proud of,” Louise says of the record.

“Stretch” is a sexy serving of breathy, fitness-inspired seduction, stretched (eh heh) across a light and funky beat. (That moan of “stretch” in the chorus is the real highlight, of course.) The song joins a long line of sweat-soaked workout-sex pop anthems a la Olivia Newton-John‘s “Physical” and Kylie Minogue‘s “Sexercize.” Bend over and touch your toes!

It’s also not too far off from something on Selena Gomez‘s Revival, but with a Holly Valance kind of early ’00s campiness. It also evokes Delta Goodrem‘s sexy 2018 comeback, “Think About You.” And if Britney ever decided to come out of Indefinite Work Hiatus and provide an instructional workout CD/DVD series (we miss you, B), this would be a perfect song to add to the soundtrack.

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of not-so-serious, airy, fluttery pop like this out there at the moment – it’s a refreshingly fun listen, and a wonderful return to form after almost two decades out of the game. And of course, on a personal level, I’m ecstatic to have a new song overflowing with potential lyrical captions for my obnoxious #gymprogress selfies.

Now then: bring on the Emancipation of LouLou.

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“Stretch” was released on March 26. (iTunes)

Photo credit: ADA/Warners