Good things come to those who wait. Christ knows we’ve waited long enough for Girls Aloud to get their act together. It’s been four years since their last studio album “Out of Control”, and felt at many point since then that they would never re-unite. A shame, as they were a pop force that was only then realising its full strength.
They had won the critics over, and had consolidated their fanbase with an unexpectedly successful Greatest Hits collection. For a band whose albums were peaking ever-lower, and hadn’t sold more than 500k with any album, the hits collection cleared one million copies. This paved the way for a second era of success for the band as an established and well-loved act, with “Out of control” becoming their first #1 studio album, and shifting over 800k copies.
The girls all pursued solo projects after that. Cheryl became an A-list celebrity with a big L’Oreal contract, a rocky marriage with a footballer, and three solo albums to varying success. Nadine never quite capitalised on her rep as the big voice in Girls Aloud, with an ill-advised Tesco-published solo album flopping hard.
Nicola released the amazing “Cinderella’s Eyes” last year as her solo debut to critical acclaim but tepid commercial success. She’s also got that pale girl’s make-up thing hasn’t she? Kimberley has diversified, with a surprise top 10 hit featuring on an Aggro Santos track, plaudits at the West End in Shrek the Musical, and is now doing well on the latest series of “Strictly Come Dancing” (or Dancing with the Stars if you’re Stateside). Sarah has… well… we’re all fond of Sarah. Apparently there’s an album in the works, but who knows!
ANYWAY. They’re back together now. For how long, we don’t know, so let’s just enjoy it. There’s an announcement due on Friday, and no doubt a Strictly Come Dancing performance too. Hopefully there’s an album coming instead of just an expanded Greatest Hits. That really WOULD seem like goodbye…
Coincidentally enough “Something New” feels most like GH lead single “Something Kinda Ooh” in spirit. In that I mean it’s a full-on dancepop blowout. It takes no prisoners, they just came here to dance and assert that they were always the No.1 girlband in town, even if they’ve been away. And who can really compete? Sugababes (wherever they are)? The much aggrieved Saturdays? I won’t even suggest StooShe, whoever they are. Awful!
It feels like their vocals have been distributed proportionally by solo album sales, and it’s a strikingly Cheryl-heavy mixture. Maybe it’s not really like that, I need to see the video. It sounds totally up-to-date, with that little dash of 90s dance anthem that people (like me) seem to love these days.
Plenty to love in there, the chorus is easy to sing along to, the verses are frantic, throbbing and energetic. Those bridges are pretty hot too. JUST BASICALLY I LOVE IT ALL.
It’s catchy and accomplished, and I hope it does live up to their bragging in the record and give them another smash hit. My only criticism really is that it’s a bit safe for a band who have gambled successfully on slightly offbeat pop music. Still, I’m so glad they are back either way. JUST DON’T LEAVE ME AGAIN.
UPDATE: It’s a Greatest Hits album *sigh*, called “Ten”. “Something New” is this year’s Children in Need single (go girls, get that pro-mo-mohhhh) and they are touring next Spring. I just hope this isn’t goodbye…
Oh, and the video premiered today, and it’s AMAZING