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This is a good pop fix. Featuring fifteen songs, nearly all of these songs are upbeat and perfect to dance to. Sound of the underground, being the first song on the album, has a kind of electric pop beat to it, making you want to get up and dance. All of the songs on the album are very sexy sounding. Some of the instruments featured may include drums, guitar, and of course there is singing over the top. This is a very teenage album, but never the less, it is good. This album has a very happy vibe too, so it's bound to put a smile on your face. The lyrics in some of the songs present the girls as being rebellious and fun, so this album would suit someone who is also of those characteristics. The third track however, 'Life Got Cold' is more serious; however this song is still melodic and is more a track you can sit back and relax to. Overall, great pop album.
This is a brilliant pop album.
I love this album as it is so happy and jolly, you can really get up and dance to it. This was the first album from Girls Aloud. It features a few hit singles but it's a good all round album with only a couple of obvious fillers (they aren't that awful either to be fair). They're still worth a listen.
The vocals are consistent throughout the album, with Nadine clearly coming out on top. The songs are decent quality pop songs with a rocky edge to them. They are mainly upbeat, songs that you can get down to (great for parties). There are a few ballads on there too, although I think they are quite weak and not on par with "I'll stand by You". The upbeat songs are the best. The lyrics aren't meant to be taken seriously, which is just as well as some of them are a little childish at times.
I like the fact that this album mainly focuses on having FUN. It's feel good pop, which has been lacking in the charts since the demise of the Spice Girls. The album isn't too long in length, but it's not too short either. It's just right. Put it this way, you won't tire of listening to it.
This album was released in 2003, however it still sounds fresh and new, it doesn't sound dated at all. It's a modern album with great beats and sounds good on whatever you use to play it (even a Tesco Value boombox!).
I have followed Girls Aloud pretty much since the beginning; I was around eleven years old when Girls Aloud were first put together on the British television show; Pop stars The Rivals and so in a way I feel as though I have 'grown up with them'. Today, I will be reviewing one of their albums.
Sound of The Underground is the debut album from British girl band Girls Aloud. It was released in the United Kingdom in 2003. The album did well in the United Kingdom reaching number 2. The album is currently available from Amazon for a small price of £0.01 which I think is great value for money.
~ * Track Listing * ~
1) Sound of The Underground
2) No Good Advice
3) Some Kind Of Miracle
4) All I Need (All I Don't)
5) Life Got Cold
6) Attack From Mars
8) Girls Allowed
9) Forever And A Night
10) Love / Hate
11) Boogie Down Love
12) Don't Want You Back
13) White Lies
14) Love Bomb
15) Everything You Ever Wanted
~ * What Are The Songs Like? * ~
Sound of The Underground - This was their debut single. It's very 'funky' and has a great beat. It is quite an unusual song, although I really like it.
Life Got Cold - This has quite a 'moody' vibe to it, yet it's a lovely upbeat ballad.
Love Bomb - Not really keen on this song to be honest. It's very different to the other songs on the album and I just don't think it suits them.
Girls Allowed - I love this song. It really makes you want to get up and dance.
All I Need (All I Don't) - This song could have so much potential, but it just doesn't cut it.
~ * Well What Do I Think...* ~
Well first of all I have to say that I do like this album!! I think that Girls Aloud have done a good job and it is a great first attempt for a debut album. The song is very poppy, but it is also mixed with what I would describe as 80's music with a modern twist.
I have to say that I much prefer this album to their more recent albums; as it has such a unique style of music and the songs are catchier. I also think that this 'sound' also suits them so much more than their more recent sound which makes them sound like everyone else.
There are some good songs on here; a lot of them which are very catchy. However, I have to say that the songs which I really love and found to have the 'wow' factor, are those which they released as singles ( Sound of The Underground, Life Got Cold, No Good Advice), however I guess that is why they were chosen to be singles; because they are the best song on this album.
I have to say that if you are going to be in a band then you should be able to sing. I mean being a 'singer' in a band should mean that you are in that band because you can sing. So what I like about this album is the fact that they all get to sing on this album which is good. I wouldn't say that they have really likeable voices (such as Beyonce or Alexandra Burke), however they do sound ok; I like that each member has a different voice (none of them sound the same) and you can easily 'pick out' who is singing which bit.
Overall a good first album and one that I would recommend
Thanks for reading!
Xdonzx / xdonzx
One of their members, Cheryl Cole is making quite a successful name for herself on the solo market at the moment but it all began for her way back in 2002 with 4 other girls, called Girls Aloud.
Love them or hate them, they have been around for quite a while now. Girls Aloud are a band, created on the television series Popstars: The Rivals. They consist of Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh. Since their beginning they have achieved 20 consecutive UK Top 10 singles and two UK number one albums. According to an article I read, Guinness World Records lists them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2007 edition. They also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition.
Their first single was entitled Sound of the Underground and this went on to become the title of their first album too. This was released on 26th May 2003. The album cover is rather psychedelic, with neon lights behind the girls and featuring them in silver spacesuit type outfits. They are all wearing something designed a bit differently and this has been the pattern in their career of wearing similar outfits but just in a different colour, or some of them in a skirt, rather than trousers, etc. The album entered the charts at number two and went platinum after a re-issue on 1 December 2003.
So, what's my opinion of the album. Well, it's good pop fun, it's ok. I think it did well because of all the hype surrounding the band and the way they were formed. People in this country love a real life reality show as a way to put bands together and after they do everyone scrambles to get their hands on their new material just to say they have listened to it I think, regardless of whether it is any good or not. I don't think this album is as good as say a Spice Girls album, it's got ok songs but none I think that will stand the test of time and that you will remember in a few years the way the Spice Girls have. Apparently at the time, the album was described as a mix of "Blondie and Bananarama, with a smattering of the Spice Girls at their best thrown in." I can see the connections and agree with this statement although I stand my theory that you really will not remember most of these songs in a few years time whereas, the above artists songs still are known to this day. I actually think they have gotten better over time and some of their current stuff is fairly good.
Probably one of the only songs that does actually stand out for me is their cover of the Pointer Sisters' dance hit, Jump. I think they did this cover a good service and made it current and up to date. The real reason why I remember it though is because it was featured in the 2003 film, Love Actually, one of my favourites.
The rest of the tracks are as follows:
1. Sound of the Underground
2. No Good Advice
3. Some Kind of Miracle
4. All I Need (All I Don't)
5. Life Got Cold
6. Mars Attack
8. Girls Allowed
9. Forever and a Night
11. Boogie Down Love
12. Don't Want You Back
13. White Lies
14. Love Bomb
15. Everything You Ever Wanted.
I cannot believe that these girls have now had 20 consecutive top ten hits. The latest is 'The Loving Kind' which is penned by the Pet Shop Boys. This album was the one that kick started it all for the girls though and is a small pop triumph.
Who are they? The girls are Cheryl, Nadine, Nicola, Sarah and Kimberly. All selected from the Pop Idol tv show, which now seems so many moons ago!
Tracks: The Sound Of The Underground was a huge number one, holding the top spot for a month when it was released and keeping those One True Voice lads at number two! No Good Advice was the followup single, a rockier affair with a storming chorus to shake your tail feather to. Then we have Life Got Cold, not as memorable but still a big top ten hit for them
Variety: A great mix of upbeat pop tracks and down tempo ballads.
Good points: Great warmuo music for a night out
Bad points: Their material these days is less shouty and in my view more melodic
Overall: Completistswill want this, but Id go for their newer stuff which is more refined
If you look at the rest of my reviewes you will be quick to realise just how much praise musically i am full for Girls Aloud. This their debut record remains one of my faviourites. This is the album of course where they had idenitifed their distinguishing factor, they where singing alot of Spice Girls emulation tracks that where all over the place atcually this is the most inconsistent album because it's just got a bit of everything thrown together on it but the only difference is Xenomenia have written everything.
Before i launch in to a rant about how brillant Sound Of The Underground is i see the notable missing off of Stay Another Day off the album. Sound Of The Underground made them what they are and is the sole reason they are still here - if this song hadn't worked they would have been finished a long time ago, it's got that great chorus, was released at just the right time, and i have probably over the years listened to that song 100 times. Talking of overplaying songs how brillant is No Good Advice, if they ever go USA they should release that one, this confirmed to upon hearing it how brillant they where turning out, i love this song again it's very now and alot of teens relate to it, i'm sure ;)
Some Kind Of Miracle is another great song, I dont think it's single worthy although alot of people would disagree. I love that chorus but it's one of those songs that will be called the song that should have been released. All I Need, All I Don't i'm confused i don't hear any of their voices on it, love the song confused can't hear their voices on it. Moving on, Mars Attacks very formualic nothing special to be honest but like it. Stop, love this song and the chorus thanks to Nadine she makes up for Cheryl's weak vocals in parts. Girls Allowed is incredible, another brillant thing and one of the best contributions to the world by Brian Mcfadden, love the play on the words and check out the performance of CDUK of this one i liked that.
Forever and a Night, sounds like a Spice Girls song to me, almost Atomic Kitten - i dont think it's fits this band but at this point they didnt know what direction to go. Love/Hate is more Girls Aloud then any other song on here, it's similiar to Stop again Nadine saves the song from some weak vocals from the others. Boogie Down Love, is sort of lame but i think it is badly produced but it's a good song al the same. Don't Want You Back works really well, Cheryl weak vocals Argh! but wierd production very dated like the song and it works. White Lies is excellent, they all shine it's a corker of a tune. Love Bomb i think is funky and works really well. Life Got Cold is one of my fave songs from them and proves they can do a ballad well, Everything You Ever Wanted is another example of this.
This album is quite diverse, their are some funky numbers, some strange songs (Love bomb, boogie down love) some ballads (Everything, dont want you back etc) and the obvious singles (no good advice, sotu, some kind of miracle.
An incredible album really, i really like it - it's not my fave album by them but it's got a good quality to it, i could chuck off 6 tracks on it and like it as much but the songs are not bad it's just that some of these sounds from the underground are not the sound of Girls Aloud.
Sound of the Underground is the first studio album from the immensely popular girl band Girls Aloud. Blasting onto our screens in 2003 after the five members won the show Popstars: The Rivals, the manufactured band were thrown straight into the recording studio with little idea of what was going on, and told to sing this and sing that.
Any musical savvy from the girls was snuffed out by ovfer-zealous management in order to produce this album, a good debut but so obviously created with any five girls in mind and not the five who won, the album became an immediate chart topper, as you would expect. The album does feature a couple of impressive tracks, and there are some very well written elements of them, but by and large it's not their best effort, and there is no individual musical talent being shown here from the five girls, Nadine, Cheryl, Kimberley, Sarah and Nicola.
Sound of the Underground
No Good Advice
Some Kind Of Miracle
All I Need (All I Don't)
Life Got Cold
Forever And A Night
Boogie Down Love
Don't Want You Back
Everything You Ever Wanted
Of the 15 tracks, the most iconic is probably their first hit, which is also the first on the album and its title, Sound of the Underground. It is a very well written song that plays to the girls' strengths, and seeing how they had spent the previous few months singing in competition week after week, they were well rehearsed and excited to film this in the video and also perform it in the studio, and this comes through on the CD.
Also impressive on the CD are the hit Life Got Cold, which features some impressive vocal performances and some excellent songwriting, and a few fun tracks towards the end of the album. However, the whole ensemble kind of reminded me of Boyzone' first studio album, which was a few hits and then a lot of misses as album fillers.
In more recent years, the group have had more input in their releases, and are very musically gifted, both vocally and in the creation stages. I rate some of this album, and appreciate the commercial appeal of it, but their more recent work is much better.
As most people will probably be aware, Girls Aloud are a five piece girlband who were created by a tv show. This is their first album and to some extent that shows. It is a little amateur - it isn't bad at all but compared with their more recent stuff, it doesn't hold together as well. They are now a really successful group, who have managed to get rid of the reality tv show label.
The singing on this album is not outstanding but in the main the music is good and catchy.
There are 15 tracks and my highlights are below:
1. Sound of the underground
This was the group's first single and made it to Christmas no.1. It has a great beat and is really catchy. It is quite a clubby number.
2. No good advice
This is a VERY poppy song. It is extremely catchy and the quality of their singing is great on this track. This is my favourite track.
5. Life got cold
This is quite a slow song. I'm not so fussed. I think their style suits more upbeat poppy numbers. Cheryl sings really well on this track
Most of the other tracks are a bit forgettable to be honest. I would recommend downloading the tracks you like and know rather than buying the whole album.
Overall, there are some good performances but not nearly as good as their later work.
Girls Aloud are a five piece girlband who were put together on tv's POPSTARS the rivals, where a girl and boyband were chosen by a phone vote from the public and then battled it out for the xmas number 1. The first thought is 'reality tv group, oh god' but somehow, Girls Aloud have beaten the curse to become one of the most successful acts formed off the telly. This I reckon is mostly because theyre actually quite good, as this album shows (oh and the lads fancy cheryl). They won the race to number one with the title track off this album, which got them into the record books for the shortest time between forming a band and getting a number one (just a week!)
Since then they have had 17 consecutive top 10 singles, three number ones, four platinum albums and been nominated for Brit awards. They've most definately been able to shake off their reailty tv tag with attention grabbing headlines such as their high profile romances with actors and footballers.
So what is this, their first album, like?
The cover is typical kitsch (or tacky?) girls aloud, showing cheryl, nadine, sarah, nicola and kimberly in the silver foil outfits they wore in one of their videos. No doubt designed to appeal to boys, as no girls would EVER want to look like that, because they look like theyre wrapped in bacofoil. The girls have since said how much they hated those outfits, and I can see why.
The tracks are as follows:
1. Sound of the underground
The 1st single and xmas number one, this a cool rnb pop number with a cool twangy guitar sound running through the background. As with most of their songs, they all get a go at the vocals in turn, some more than others because lets face it, nadine can sing really well and the rest of them cant. The lyrics are meaningless club lyrics, but this is pretty cool nonetheless.
2. No good advice
An eighties pop style that more than rips off 'My sharona' and is one of the best songs on the album. Nadine sings really well, her voice is powerful and cheryl gives some good attitude. This is cool, rebellious and very different to the first track, showing some diversity. Only negative being the obvious rhymes, such as 'heaven' with 'eleven'.
3. Some kind of miracle
More chilled and funky, good to dance and sing along to, nut doesnt stand out as much as the first two. Unfortunately they dont let nadine sing on this as much as they should, so the vocals are quiet and forgettable.
4. All I need (all i dont)
More dancey, with a cool intro that builds up slowly, but there's no stomping chorus which is necessary for all good pop songs. Its another change of style though.
5. Life got cold
Best song by miles. It starts with an almost wonderwall style guitar and then changes to become a sweet pop song with some biting lyrics 'i dont believe in romeos or heroes anymore'. It may be moodier, but its still catchy and cheryl's voice really suits this one. This was the third single and i think it was well picked! It shows real emotion, and reminds me of 'wonderwall' for some reason.
6. Mars Attacks
AWFUL TITLE, and a forgettable song. Boring, dull album filler. SKIP IT!!!
A very odd pulsating intro to this one, and another weak track to be honest.
8. Girls Allowed
Written by Bryan Mcfadden from westlife no less! This is a great, almost disco sounding track with the typical girls aloud attitude added in, with some funny innuendos in the lyrics, cool shouty singing and a chorus that builds up on you and is unbelievably catchy. One of my favourites!
9.Forever and a night
And so we get the ballad. Slower than life got cold and more sugary, this one features only cheryl on vocal, which she seems to be best at, she does have a more interesting voice than the rest but it can sound a bit squeaky and strained on faster songs. The lyrics are typical pop ballad love song lyrics, nothing special.
The chorus on this one is awful, its just not catchy and it gets lost in the rest of the album.
11.Boogie down love
MORE FILLER, which goes to show how many songs should have been left off this album. It could have been cut down to about 11 songs and been near brilliant, but with all these average songs its just good.
12. Dont want you back
The kind of song you could imagine waving your arms to at a concert, its a good singalong but its pure pop, unlike most of the other songs which have an rnb or dance influence.
13. White lies
This is a bit darker sounding than the other tracks. A good bit which I like is Nicola singing 'No way out...' repeatedly, which makes her voice sound much stronger.
I almost thought this was a joke, its SO CHEESY. But its a load of fun too, with a salsa/cha cha sound and cheryl RAPS the lyrics. Good for girly nights in and having a laugh, and you wil laugh. How could you not when it begins 'yeah yeah mambo, chico' 'no...lets cha cha cha!'
15. Everything you ever wanted
A cool computerised sounding intro with nadine giving it some attitude again, but the chorus lets it down with some screechy singing!
Overall, this is good but there is room for improvement. The lyrics are poor and repetetive, and nothing new. The singing is ok because obviously they had to sing live every week to make it in the band so they can all hold a tune, even if only nadine sounds like anything special. The songs themselves however are brilliant pop, with a vast array of styles incorporated in a way that would make girls aloud stand out from other girl bands. At its best this is original and fun, at its worst its cheesy boring filler. But i would give it a go!
One annoying thing to me is the album sleeve. I like to look at various pictures and read lyrics and thank yous, but there are no lyrics here and the pictures are all just more bacofoil adverts. Very poor and it looks cheap.
I really did try my hardest not to like Girls Aloud. They are the kind of group that I usually slate - put together by a reality tv show, with 3 out of 5 there for their looks. But I failed miserably. As pop music goes, this is decent stuff.
True theres a few bad fillers on this album and the second one is miles better but its still good for a lambrini bottle bop around the room before a night out.
However, i dont really like them as individuals. The blonde one looks like a total cow, Kimberley's voice is vile and Cheryl's isnt much better. But the irish one is great and I love the little ginger one. I feel sorry for her though cos she hardly ever gets to sing - think they're avoiding having her in the videos.
The 4 singles - Sound of the Underground, No Good Advice, Life Got Cold and Jump are worth the cd price alone. My favourite is Life Got Cold. They're all super catchy and will have you singing along whether you want to or not. Its more upbeat and modern than some of the dirge that Atomic Kitten come out with (I love you tasha im sorry) and there's none of the "woohoo we're great, jump around, wave your hands in the air and you could be almost as great as us" pap that s club spew out.
A lot of people criticised Jump but i think they did it justice (even if they had to transpose it down a bit, to be fair none of them are big black women). They modernised it and made it a bit poppier and its great when you're out clubbing.
For some reason they re-recorded 'some kind of miracle' which was kind of pointless cos it pretty much sounds the same. But that, along with 'All I need' and 'Forever and a Night' are the afore mentioned bad fillers. 'Forever and a Night' sounds like a demo song. Or a really bad joke. Its corny, cliched and has some horrifically recorded vocals.
I'm also not so keen on Mars Attacks. I think its crap.
However, I do like most of the others even if they do sort of all sound the same.
'You Freak Me Out' is a real hairbrush moment if ever there was one. You just wanna go back a few years and run around the house singing it at your mum. Actually my mum would have loved it. She's such a teeny bopper. Her favourite band used to be 911. Bless.
'Stop', 'Boogie Down Love' and 'Love/hate' are all the same song but at least for once its a good song that you dont mind hearing three times in a row. I especially love the 'pow pow pow-pow pow pow pow-pow-pow' bassline on love hate. Its mint.
White Lies is very Spice Girls although i dont agree that Girls Aloud are the new spice girls. I did actually watch the show - ok i admit it, we, in Block 5 the precinct, university of sunderland student halls, were avid viewers. Glued to the tv each saturday night. Watching them all cry week-in week-out as the competition kept getting booted off. Mesmerised by them blubbing their hearts out as yet more unsuitable yet popular with the public contestants were found 'too old', 'too young' or 'too pregnant' or whatever to carry on. But my point... Geri used to seriously do my head in. 'the spice girls this... the spice girls that... spice girls... blahdy blahdy blah'. I was like, Shut up about the sodding spice girls. I think GA deserve to be seen as a pop group in their own right, not just the second coming of girl power.
What was i talking about? White Lies. Yes I really like that one and Nadine sounds great on it.
The album finishes with a rather ill advised cover of Duran Duran's 'Girls on Film'. You can see why they did it but someone should have had the balls to say 'seriously girls - No'.
So anyway. In general its a good album. 2 of them can really sing and one of thems okay. Most of the songs are fun, poppy, bop around numbers. Maybe more one for the girls though.
I don?t mind admitting it; I am a Girls Aloud fan! When I say that to my friends they think I?m sad, but why exactly is that sad? I love their music. When everyone said Girls Aloud would be gone this time this year, I knew they were wrong, their songs are actually good unlike that group, you know the one that split up after Pete Waterman ruined their lives. Anyway I?m glad these girls are still about because they sing great songs, albeit they don?t write them but still, well in my opinion anyway. One thing that you have to note about this band is Nadine Coyle?s amazing voice, she has genuine talent and no one can deny that, although some of the others ?talent? is somewhat questionable I think Nadine?s talent makes up for it. I personally think if Girls Aloud continues to sing good pop songs they could be around for a long time. As long as they experiment with different sounds and don?t stick with the same old flavour they won?t be going anywhere any time soon. The album opens up with the Christmas number 1 ?SOUND OF THE UNDERGROUND?. As soon as I heard this song I was hooked. It?s such a cool pop song, which is still one of my favourite songs. When I heard this song all I could say was ?Louis Walsh is a very smart man?. This song is so different to the repetitive girl band rubbish out there at the time of release, which definitely made it stand out. The catchy guitar hook made this song stand out. A very well deserved number one. The song is edgier than usual girl band stuff, which is why it stood out so much. Next up is the follow up single ?NO GOOD ADVICE? which is a funky little retro track, which was thankfully different to the previous singl
e. Most new bands release a second single, which sounds exactly like the first, but thankfully that wasn?t a problem here. This is just as catchy which a very shouty style of singing which goes great with the loud retro beats. The best part of the song is definitely the catchy guitar solo, which occurs after each chorus, very catchy and adds a retro sound to the song. This song has a very funky 70?s vibe about it but not in a passé kind of way, definitely more of a vintage retro cool kind of way. ?LIFE GOT COLD? was a song I was quite shocked to find on this album, it?s different to the funky pop sound present on this album but that?s what makes it stand out. This song is a guitar based slow song about the lives of teenagers. The lyrics aren?t exactly deep and the vocals seem really flat as they seem to be talking rather than singing but it goes well with the lyrics anyway. I like this song because it?s simple but has a nice tune and is easy to sing along to. A mellow, chilled out track on an album of funky pop songs. Most people will be familiar with the next song due to it appearing on the ?Love Actually? soundtrack. ?JUMP? is a cover of the Pointer sister?s song, and even though the original was good for it?s era this one is an updated version, very cool and funky. I was a bit shocked to hear this at first as it sounded quite different to their past releases but I realised that?s a good thing. I was also impressed to find this cover didn?t borrow heavily from the original. The song has some cool funky beats and is a song I quite enjoy listening to. ?SOME KIND OF MIRACLE? is one of my favourite tracks. Although I wasn?t impressed with it to begin with, as soon as the chorus begins, it instantly grows on you. I found myself sin
ging along every time. This song isn?t as edgy as the other songs and a lot simpler but that?s the appeal, I?d say it was much more disco based but just as good as the other songs. I think this song brought a new flavour to the album as it?s literally floating with edgy pop songs, this was a bit different and that?s what made it stand out for me! Next up is one of the funkiest songs on the album, ?ALL I NEED (ALL I DON?T)?. This song picks up the funky retro sound and is definitely one of the highlights on the album to me. The girls vocals are okay I suppose but I think they try to put on too much of a seductive vibe, which is tolerable. One of the reasons this song stands out so much to me is because of the heavy bass line and dance music inspired beats. ?MARS ATTACK? is my least favourite song on the album. It has a lot of annoying sound effects going in and out of the track and the vocals of the girls just aren?t very impressive, they seem to be trying to sound sexy and seductive but at one point they are bordering on annoying. Whenever I listen to this album I am always likely to be skipping this song as it?s not really a song that stands out. It just sounds like a mish mash of crazy sound effects; It would have been passable if some of the exasperating sound effects were removed. ?YOU FREAK ME OUT? is taken off the soundtrack of the new movie ?Freaky Friday?, which I loved but that?s another story! This song starts out with a guitar playing and is quite a shouty song but I thought the lyrics are so identifiable to a teenage girl and a dignified mother. The song is a good track, which grew on me even more with each listen. I think this is ideal for people who love the infectious guitar based p
op songs. This to me was one of the highlights of the album as it?s got a fun tune and the lyrics are easy to sing along too. It does however suffer from the girls shouting, ?woo? mid way through the chorus but that just, adds to the fun of this song. Next up is the cleverly titled ?GIRLS ALLOWED? well no not really? It?s an okay pop song with a lot of funk influences but I just think like ?Mars attack? it suffers from annoying sound effects. There are some pretty cool beats present, which would sound better without annoying sound effects drowning them out. The lyrics of this song are a bit dry and why not? The track was written by ex Westlife member Bryan McFadden. This song to me is just an annoying filler because there?s nothing that makes it stand out. Next up we have a song, which ends the funky pop song routine, we have a ballad. ?FOREVER AND A NIGHT? is a mediocre ballad in my opinion, nothing makes it stand out and to me it?s just another run of the mill love song. The guitar sound present on the song does add a nice touch but it just sounds reminiscent of so many other ballads out there, there isn?t really anything original about this song but if you do enjoy listening to ballads I?m sure you?ll like this, there?s nothing that great about it, but on the plus side there?s nothing that bad about it. ?LOVE/HATE? has a kind of trance vibe to it, which I was very impressed with because it?s nothing like any of the other tracks. It starts out fast and immediately it will stand out because of the drum and base sound. It does slow down in the verses, which would stop it from being labelled as a trance song, but I do think it does have more of a dance sound to it than anything else. The girl?s vocals are actu
ally quite good on this record. I think this is one of the faster songs on the album and would appeal to people who prefer their pop songs to be slightly loud and with more of a dance music sound. The next track is the quite aggressive dance/funk influenced ?BOOGIE DOWN LOVE?. This song shares a similar tone to ?Mars Attack? and ?Girls Allowed? which is why I don?t find it that impressive. It?s more of a fun pop/dance song with a few shouty choruses thrown in there for good measure. This song also seems to draw its influences from disco which adds another spin to the song, which only just, makes it better than ?Mars attack? and ?Girls allowed?. Next up we have a song, which opens with a simple repetitive beat. I was afraid that?s all that ?STOP? would have been but thankfully rather than just having a simple beat being played throughout the song, it does speed up when the chorus drops. This is one of those catchy songs, which is very easy to sing along to. I think it stands out because it?s catchy and fun. ?WHITE LIES? is much slower than some of the other songs but wouldn?t be classed as a ballad due to synthesised sound effects. I think this song had potential to be really good as it has a nice tune but the only thing that lets it down are the flat vocals of the girls. Some of the girls are bearable, but while some of them sing others have another approach. They tend to talk rather than sing which makes this song sound like ?Life got cold?. Other than that I think this song is ok, nothing special but worth listening to. To end the album we have one of my favourite songs, so ok it?s a cover but I still love it. ?GIRLS ON FILM? is a cover of the Duran, Duran classic, and even
though covers of this kind are usually disappointing, I was very impressed with it as they managed to keep their vocals very ?English? rather than going all American like most singers. I would describe this song as an updated version which would appeal to the younger audience who have no idea who Duran, Duran are. It really is a funky little track, which you wouldn?t expect the likes of Atomic Kitten to be singing. I was almost certain this album was going to be yet ?another? mediocre pop record to rival the likes of Atomic Kitten but this has surpassed my expectations. This album is a mix of great pop, funky retro disco and some good slow songs, which don?t clash at all, just compliment each other. Even though the tracks wouldn?t sound original I still think they are original for a band of this nature. Overall I thought this album was definitely worth buying. Not only does it have some brilliant pop tracks but also it?s different to girl bands out there at the moment. Rather than singing pathetic ballads that all sound the same (yes Atomic Kitten I?m talking about you) they?ve gone for a more disco, funk kind of a sound, which works extremely well. I was so impressed with this album and it?s definitely one of my favourite albums of the year (or should that be last year). I had the old version, which is now being sold on CD-Wow for £6.99, but I gave that to my niece and bought the new version as it has more tracks on it including ?Jump?, ?You freak me out?, ?Girls on film? and the radio edit of ?Life got cold?. The new version is available from Play.com priced £9.99. It is definitely worth it. (`*?.¸(`*?.¸¸.?*') ¸.?*')® «°'¨`?.°BabyGirl°.?'¨`°» (°¸∆.?''(¸.?'''?.¸)`' ?.∆¸°)
There seems to be a trend at the moment towards pop music becoming a little heavier. Suddenly a number of pop acts have started using guitars as a backing instrument, rather than synthesizers and an upbeat drum track, leading to a more rounded sound than we've been used to from the likes of Steps, S Club 7 and Britney Spears in the past. Pink's second album seems to have started this revolution, although it could be argued that Sheryl Crow was the first to do it, and newer artists like Amy Studt and Stacie Orrico have taken up the baton. Britney has had a go, although her cover of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" suggests she has a way to go, and even Westlife's latest single "Hey Whatever" has a slightly darker feel to it. One type of act you wouldn't expect to be among the trendsetters is a reality TV group. Hear'Say were purely a pop act, as well written as "Pure and Simple" was. Gareth Gates and Will Young did what they were told, which involved a lot of covers and, while Will Young seems to have vanished, Gareth Gates is now producing standard old style pop music. Girls Aloud have bucked the trend, and are at the head of the new guitar-pop revolution. Indeed, last Christmas' number one single "Sound of the Underground" was really what bought the sound to prominence. The fact that, more than half a year later, their third single was quite popular and the album is still selling, even in slightly smaller amounts, suggests they have more staying power than most of the reality TV acts we've seen so far. Before listening, I only had vague recollections of the first single, "Sound of the Underground" so discovering that there's something akin to the guitar music from "Pulp Fiction" running through the chorus surprised me slightly. The rest is an up tempo pop-dance track, which bounces along quite happily. Lyrically, though, it's just a littl
e naff and, interestingly, it doesn't sound like it's a group singing, apart from through the chorus, which seems a little strange as the five girls were chosen specifically to be a group. The second single, "No Good Advice" was the one I really remembered, another that bounces along quite happily with a fairly bassy guitar riff running through it. There is clearly more than one singer on this track, though, which seems more the way thing should be for this group in particular. The song seems to have a little Spice Girls style attitude, but is sadly ruined by the spoken part at the end, which just doesn't seem in keeping with the rest of the song. "Some Kind of Miracle" was where it all started going wrong. Not that it's a bad track, completely the opposite. I found my foot tapping and it got stuck in my head for days. It's got more of a disco sound than the earlier tracks, quite heavy on the synthesizer with even the lyrics having a retro feel to them, with talk of "glitter balls" and things being "cool". It's clearly a group effort again, with a couple of the voices really sticking out, with one of the girls seeming a little flat and another having a much stronger, louder vocal, both of which stick out a little unpleasantly, taking the edge off what is my favourite track on the album. Fortunately, the next track restores the equilibrium. Playing at a slower tempo than the tracks before, "All I Need (All I Don't)" runs on an 80's style synthesizer but the vocals just don't seem strong enough to carry the song above it. I think they're trying to be seductive and sultry, but it doesn't seem to work, somehow. Next up is the first down tempo track and third single "Life Got Cold". Again it's a group effort, although the slightly flat vocals are still present, they fit in a little better, somehow. There's an a
lmost Spanish feel to the guitar, and it's certainly a good effort. The lyrics are, again, a bit naff, though, almost enough to distract attention, especially during the first verse before you've really got into the song. When I first saw there was a track called "Mars Attacks" on the album, I immediately thought of the silly film. Instead, it's a part disco, part electronica style track, back to the high tempo that seems to be favoured by the group. There are parts where it sounds a little like the Spice Girls, which is an interesting development, and there's an almost Sugababes feel to some of the lyrics. While the title of next track brings to mind the Spice Girls again, the first line of "Stop" is more reminiscent to the "Generation Game" theme. It's a heavy pop track, with a fairly funky guitar backing, which harks back to the 70's, and the lyrics again seem to fit in with that. Essentially, though, it's nothing but an up tempo pop track, as there aren't enough other influences in there to make it sound distinctively otherwise. Personally, I think that a group called Girls Aloud having a track called "Girls Allowed" is just a little dodgy. It's a mish mash of influences, though, with there being a definite Spice Girls sound running through the vocals, although the sound is quite disco and funk influenced. Most interestingly, the track is co-written by Bryan McFadden, who's the fat one from Westlife, if memory serves. Strange, then, that it doesn't sound much like them, which you could have expected, and that the lyrics are very much a "girls on top" kind of thing. It would have sounded pretty silly as a Westlife track, but for Girls Aloud, it does work. For the album's other ballad, we have "Forever and a Night". It's fairly clichéd and somehow manages to sound a little like Steps or Atomic Kitten, vocally
speaking, particularly in the chorus. The guitar underpinning the track raises it slightly above this level into something with a little more maturity, although the Spanish Guitar solo reminds me of a million other pop ballads. It does work well, although ballads clearly aren't the group's forte. "Love/Hate" starts with a strange violin sound before becoming a fast paced electronica based track. Apart from the over heavy drum beat, there's very little about the track that sticks out, as it?s perhaps a bit too dancey to be labelled as a normal pop track, but not enough that you can see yourself going wild to it in a club. The song inhabits that middle ground between a couple of decent options, but managing to be less good than either. The beat behind "Boogie Down Love" is pretty similar to "Mars Attacks"; a fast paced disco style number, although some of the guitar work sounds suspiciously like Edwyn Collins "Girl Like You". This time around, the vocals do seem to be a little more distinctive than before, and there's not an obvious influence to find. "Don't Want You Back" has an insistent backing synthesizer, which overpowers the vocals slightly on the verses. Sadly, it gets worse, as the chorus is a clichéd pop number, sounding like more or less any female based pop act. At the risk of becoming a cliché myself, it's sadly time to roll out the Spice Girls comparison again. There is, at least, something different happening with "White Lies", which has quite a funky back beat. It's not a great track, with the subject matter and the lyrics not saying anything new, but it does groove along quite nicely. There is another version of the album with 2 UK bonus tracks, but this is where my copy ends. Whilst I'm not a fan of the way Girls Aloud were put together, feeling it a bit of a short cut to the top, it's th
e music that they should be judged on. And in that respect, they've done better than most. While the guitar edged sound doesn't continue through the whole album, there being a huge range of influences, it's got more variation than the standard pop album. Interestingly, as well, the songwriters that have been used before don't get much of a look in here, with Cathy Dennis (who co-wrote "Pure and Simple"), nowhere to be seen. It's possibly this that has allowed Girls Aloud to partially break away from the standard pop sounds, if not the standard of pop lyrics. Essentially, though, what we have here is a newer version of the Spice Girls. There's a little attitude, there's some pretty dodgy lyrics and there's some pretty catchy pop tunes. The heavy pop guitar sound that appears on a number of tracks, and the disco style beats on others are merely window dressing. There's nothing new, it's merely presented in a slightly different way to what we're used to. But what we end up with are a few decent tracks, even from my perspective and a fair amount of filler. It's no surprise that the album sold as well as it did. It's better than a lot of the pop albums around at the moment, as it does try to experiment. The next one will be where Girls Aloud will really prove themselves, although having to concentrate on the High Court rather than the recording studio as this point in time may count heavily against them. It may be that their downfall has nothing to do with how they perform musically, but a right hook, which would be a bit of a shame, as this album certainly gives them the right to another go. There are two versions of the album around right now. There's the 13 track version I have, which plays for a not too stingy 48 minutes, which can be bought from CD Wow for £8.99. Alternatively, the 15 track version, which will probably weigh in at about 56 minutes, can be bought
from Amazon at 9.99 plus postage. It's difficult to advise which one to go for, although if you're buying enough from Amazon to avoid postage, I'd go for the longer version. If not, CD Wow always has my vote. At the end of the day, I'm more surprised than embarrassed to be able to say that I quite enjoyed parts of this album. I wasn't expecting anything more than pop and was pleasantly surprised by the results. However different the album may be in part, though, it's still likely to appeal most to fans of that kind of music, rather than anyone else. Recommended, but only just, with a red face and through gritted teeth. Now I'm off to try and find a good reputation from somewhere, as I fear I've just sullied whatever one I may have had.
As Fame Academy and Pop Idol currently compete for Saturday night’s share of the viewing figures, it seems a good time to review an album of another reality TV music success. Popstars – The Rivals produced two bands – the boys became One True Voice, the girls were launched as Girls Aloud. Throughout the show, I had preferred the voices of the men, especially Daniel Pearce and Keith Semple and had been expecting to prefer their single. When they were both played, I was shocked. One True Voice’s Sacred Trust was kind of catchy, but pretty dull and something Jason Donovan could have released in the late ‘80s. Girls Aloud were a pleasant surprise. Their debut single, Sound of the Underground, was much better than anyone had been expecting. Something fresh and different, the single rocketed to number one, citing comparisons with rock legends Blondie and, erm, The Bangles. Louis Walsh had the last laugh over Pete Waterman, who watched One True Voice lose one member then disappear into the deep void of chart cast-offs. Girls Aloud continued to flourish and achieve success with their second and third singles – No Good Advice and Life Got Cold. But is the album any good? Or are their singles the only decent tracks? Read on to find out my opinion… Girls Aloud are Nicola Roberts (the redhead), Nadine Coyle (the Irish one with the long legs), Sarah Harding (the member most likely to show her cleavage), Cheryl Tweedy (the controversial one) and Kimberley Walsh (the other one). Their look is an effective mixture of the styles of various decades. It is a glamorous one, but also streetwise. Their image can be copied by young fans. My ten-year-old often asks to have her hair in a Nicola Roberts ponytail. Their musical style – as with their fashion – seems to take the best things from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s and mix them up into some
thing that is unique and very now. They put some punch into pop, some raunch into rock and some balls into ballads. Their music also seems to transcend the age gap barrier, which prevents me liking Busted or my kids appreciating Pink Floyd. Our entire household are fans of this album – my hubby (who’s 28), myself (33) and the kids (12, 11, 10 and 7). The album manages to achieve something that is rare – each track is very good. Usually, I find the singles are easily the best songs on the album, with obvious ‘fillers’ or B-sides to make up the numbers. However, this isn’t the case on the Girls Aloud CD. Any of them could be released as singles and would do very well. There is an impressive mixture of tempos on here with each new track exciting and capturing the ears and brain of the listener. The Special Edition version I own has fifteen tracks on it. Predictably beginning with Sound of the Underground, we are launched onto familiar territory followed by the equally excellent No Good Advice. The first new track is Some Kind of Miracle, which is very catchy and quite simple, compared to the first two. This isn’t as rocky and suggests the 1960s in some ways. It is a very good song, but personally, I prefer the next one – All I Need (All I Don’t) – which just has the edge somehow. It has a really infectious beat that you just can’t help tap along to. This sets the tone of the whole album really. Each track is memorable, different and well produced. They all have that Girls Aloud sound too, even though they spread across a variety of beats, influences and styles. The vocals are very strong and all the girls take a turn on lead vocals, although admittedly Nadine is usually seen as the main singer. Of course, having watched them sing a variety of songs live on TV each week during the competition, we cannot doubt their capabilities as accomplished singers. Most of
the songs on the album are uptempo, which makes this an ideal CD for parties. Life Got Cold is slower, but a beautiful track and was deservedly the group’s third single release. Forever And A Night is also a lovely ballad, with a convincing performance from Cheryl Tweedy on lead vocals. Love/Hate is probably my least favourite track, but it is still a good song. It just doesn’t seem to have that special something that the others do. It is also followed by Boogie Down Love, which – despite the naff title – makes you want to get up from your comfy computer chair and strut your stuff like Pan’s People. (Oops, just showed my age there!) Besides the singles, my favourite tracks are the bonus ones – Everything You Ever Wanted and Love Bomb. In fact, even including the excellent singles, Love Bomb is probably my very favourite song on the album. I loved it from the first time I heard it. It has quite a 1960s feel to it and reminded me of Deee-lite at the start, but becomes more modern in the chorus. I don’t intend to review each track separately, as those track-by-track opinions can become rather dull, but I hope you will get an overview of the album and be able to decide whether this album would be your kind of thing. I have certainly been very pleased with it. In fact, the only problem I have is finding it, as my kids take it to their bedrooms to play and hubby sneaks it to work! I know reality TV programmes have many critics and the ensuing band or singer tends to be dismissed for some reason. Manufactured bands are not a new concept and do not equate with bad music. I suggest you give Girls Aloud a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. This album is much rockier than I thought it would be and very few – if any – of these tracks can be described as throwaway pop. I bought my CD from Amazon, but the cheapest place to buy it online seems to be 101cd.com (£7.99
) followed by CD Wow! (£8.99) Be sure to check the track listings, if you want the special edition version. Overall, I would highly recommend this album. Any age, either sex – give it a try. Hopefully Girls Aloud will continue to be around for years and get even better. Let’s face it, they’re rather nice to look at too ;-)