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Girls Aloud - What Will The Neighbours Say?


Review: Jack Foley

YOU could be forgiven for thinking that Girls Aloud are trying to seduce their way into forcing young listeners to embrace them as the new Sugababes.

With lyrics such as 'should have hung around the kitchen in my underwear' (on The Show), 'we're gift-wrapped kitty katts' (on Love Machine), and 'it's 3am and you still look gorgeous, my morning after feeling's kicking in' (Deadlines and Diets), not to mention skirts and outfits skimpy enough to make their mothers' blush, they seem intent on dazzling their way to the top.

But strip away the glossy veneer and the picture isn't quite so rosy.

Girls Aloud still sound like the manufactured pop princesses of the moment, born out of the Pop Idol/Stock Aitken generations, who place throwaway pop songs above anything of any enduring quality.

I was unfortunate enough to catch their recent performance at the Smash Hits Poll Winners' Party, at Wembley (on TV), when they mimed to their hearts' content in a succession of skimpy outfits.

Once more, the look tended to overshadow the quality. They look great, but merely sound ok (even when miming).

Having got that off my chest, it should come as little surprise to find their album, What Will The Neighbours Say?, is a similarly throwaway affair.

Supposedly catchy pop singles such as Love Machine and The Show sound hopelessly generic, in a sort of post-Spice Girls sort of way.

While meatier fare, such as Deadlines and Diets, merely have the girls sounding like wannabe Sugababes, without the maturity to make it count.

Recent cover version, I'll Stand By You, does, at least, suggest that they could transcend the pop genre if they put their minds to it, courtesy of some stronger vocals.

But for every assured moment, there's more lightweight pop fare waiting in the wings, such as the flat Big Brother, or the supposedly funky Graffiti My Soul.

If they continue like this, their careers might just be as short as their skirts and dresses.

 

Track listing:
1. The Show
2. Love Machine
3. I'll Stand By You
4. Jump
5. Wake Me Up
6. Deadlines & Diets
7. Big Brother
8. Hear Me Out
9. Graffiti My Soul
10. Real Life
11. Here We Go
12. Thank Me Daddy
13. I Say A Prayer For You (UK bonus track)
14. 100 Different Ways (UK bonus track)

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