Travel back in time to 2002 when Pop music was still in charge. Justin was stepping out from the boy band that made him who he is and Christina was letting us know she was here to stay. Remember Eden’s Crush? The lead singer went on to become the head member of the Pussycat Dolls? Remember how Eden’s Crush was formed on the TV show Popstars? Yeah…they faded pretty fast. But over in the UK, the groups created from the series found much greater success. That brings us to the summer of 2002 when the search started for an all girl group and an all boy group to battle each other in the UK charts for the coveted Christmas #1. Nicola, Sarah, Nadine, Cheryl, and Kimberley were the ladies selected to make up the female group called Girls Aloud. And close to six years later, they’re getting ready to release their fourth highly anticipated studio album. They’re currently the UK’s biggest selling girl group beating out the Spice Girls! Let’s take a look at some of their best songs which include single releases and the ace album tracks that got looked over.
Life Got Cold: Reviewers said this mid-tempo track was a highlight and when fans got their hands on “Sound of the Underground”, the band’s debut album, it was apparent they felt the same. With it’s haunting vibe and light guitar playing in the background, the girls sing about the not so pretty moments in life. In August of 2003, the single entered the UK’s Top 40 charts at #3.
Graffiti My Soul: When critics got to review the band’s second album, “What Will The Neighbours Say?”, this was another song that got rave reviews. The group picked it up after Britney Spears passed on it for her Grammy winning tune, “Toxic”. “Soul” starts with a hoedown-esque guitar riff and about 45 seconds into the song, all hell breaks loose and it sounds like something from an Austin Powers chase scene. This time around, though, the critically acclaimed song got left as an album track
Watch Me Go: With their 3rd album “Chemistry”, the girls churned out some of their sassiest songs to date. “I just wanna do it to ya, baby/Watch me go/I wanna give you combinations/I could tell ya but you already know” are the racy lyrics that make up this song of getting it on. It’s got that guitar riff in there along with computer based synthesizers and sounds like everything you’ve heard from Girls Aloud but nothing like their past stuff. They’ve got a strange way of doing that.
Don’t Want You Back: Listening to this song you can almost imagine a breezy, summer video with the girls frolicking on the beach sharing moments with the camera, sorrow displayed all gently on their faces. Instead, one of the best songs off their debut album was thrown to the side. The song is a very solid piece of Pop music with the girls trademark Rock/Dance sound.
I’ll Stand By You: Now we finally see a ballad by the group. Covering the Pretender’s classic song was a risky move and even though the song sometimes lacks a true emotion, it’s still one of their better ballads. It’s also one of the songs that we get to hear more voices, too. Usually the group seems to depend on lead singer Nadine, but in this track, everyone’s voice is heard multiple times on the #1 hit single. The surprise vocalist of this track is Nicola, who rarely gets heard but has a very interesting and pleasing tone to her voice.
Wild Horses: This song might possibly be one of the most stylish songs I’ve heard in a long time. With a dramatic, opera-esque beginning you’re not sure what to expect, but then kicks in the good times and Girls Aloud are taking you on a fluff roller coaster about bad boys and getting rid of them. The highlight of the song is undoubtedly the chorus. “Taking a long time/Whoo whoo/Wild horses wouldn’t take me back to you/Get out of town and take your lazy dog with you/” These girls definitely know how to kick their man out in style.
Whole Lotta History: This, by far, is thee ballad from Girls Aloud. With previous singles that didn’t really make sense or were more fun and fluffy, GA find themselves with a hard hitting “I’m trying to deal with this emotion and I don’t know how” release. While the album version features mainly Nadine on the chorus, the live acoustic version almost surpasses the studio version with each girl being heard clearly. The video also sees the Girls step up a notch, leaving the studio sets behind for the gorgeous backdrop of sweet Paris. In the charts, however, the single only got to
Deadlines & Diets: On this track, the girls channel their inner All Saints, another huge British girl group that are on the comeback road this year. ‘Deadlines’ is a kind of lazy affair. It’s one of those songs that if you were on a bus, you’d slowly nod your head along while looking at the people on either side of you. It’s a happy little jingle even if in the beginning, one of the singers alludes to a night of mayhem which includes “too much gin”.
Something Kinda Ooooh: This single, which led off their Greatest Hits album, is such a different vibe for GA. It proved to be a vibe fans could jump on as it was a major success in the charts.
Wake Me Up: This was a single release. This was a good choice. The video was sexy and included tons of hair blowing in simulated wind. The most ‘Rock’ track the girls have done thus far, “Wake Me Up” is a superbly well crafted song. ‘Was it just the margaritas/Or are you looking at me?’ sings Cheryl, the band’s most famous member. The chorus is really catchy with its fast and industrial sound. This song is an anthem for anyone who’s trying to let someone know “Pay attention to me or you’ll get left behind. I’m kind of a big deal.” Besides the studio version being an almost perfect pop song, the live performances are just as good. I’m not sure what it is, but watching back each performance, I see not only how gorgeous each girl is, but just how well they all play the vixen role.
Girls Aloud are maturing with every album and it just seems to keep getting better and better. With a Greatest Hits album that actually includes great hits already behind them, the four British dames and Irish beauty are set to set the charts ablaze again with “Tangled Up” being released on November 19.