It’s about time I reviewed something! ;)
Girls Aloud. They’re simply fabulous. There is no doubt in my mind that they are the number one pop girl group in the world right now. After last year’s hits-yielding Tangled Up and this year’s sensational tour, I was eagerly anticipating their November 3 release of Out Of Control. Did the girls live up to the excitement? Well of course they did, you silly goose!The album starts with the ultra-poppy Sixties throwback, “The Promise,” all cheerfully squawking horns and a shuffling beat. The album version differs a bit from the single version in that it has more of an intro and and outro and thus sounds more “complete.” The album’s most-hyped track comes next, the Pet Shop Boys-penned “The Loving Kind.” Now, to be totally honest, I was a little disappointed with this one. It is definitely very PSB-sounding – from the yearning “I’ll do anything, sing you songs that lovers sing” bit to the lyrics (which are a sight better than the admittedly rather odd lyrics the girls sometimes sing. I mean, “Let’s go Eskimo”?) – which is a positive, but it just feels like a flat “Call The Shots.” That said, it really does grow on you. I went from being neutral about the song to loving it, so have a listen and decide for yourself! :)
“Rolling Back The Rivers In Time” rolls up next and is a bit of a different sound for Girls Aloud. The song is a pretty, gentle shuffle of melodic guitar and light beats. One of my favorite songs on the album comes next – “Love Is The Key”! It opens with a Gregorian choir or something and quickly moves into a down-and-dirty, blues-y groove. It’s like someone took the best parts of “Wild Horses” and “Waiting” (from Chemistry) and added on a cool synth hook! After that bit of perfection, we move on to the beautifully bittersweet portion of the album that starts with “Turn To Stone.” Percolating synths punctuate this chilled electro tune. What you must listen out for are the lovely vocal melodies here.
The album’s highlight, and another of my fave tracks, is “Untouchable.” It’s over six and a half minutes long, and yet you never want it to end! Delicate and driven at the same time, “Untouchable” is packed full of melodic flourishes, sweet vocals, and even hilarious yet poignant lyrics, like “beautiful robots dancing alone.” In all seriousness, though, this is a wonderful song. Just heavenly.
You kind of thud back to earth with the opening vocoded vocal of “Fix Me Up,” though – “sex me up, ‘cos I’m feeling like I want you”! And somehow, this actually works! The girls get down-and-dirty again – emphasis on the dirty! – with this slow-burning tune. It’s like the “Watch Me Go” or “Fling” of 2008! The cool electro stomper “Love is Pain” follows, and is kind of like “Turn To Stone Part 2” with its aching chorus. “Miss You Bow Wow” comes up next and is instantly catchy – “everybody love love loves everybody…!” It feels a little like several songs in one – and that’s what makes it so much fun! Love the “I rememberrrrrrr” bit!
“Revolution In The Head” is the girls’ attempt at dancehall-style reggae – and you’d never believe it, but it really works! This song gets stuck in head so often now! I really like the deep synth that starts the song off, and the handclaps and beats are infectious. We get a classic Girls Aloud sound with the next track, “Live In The Country.” And no, I’m not talking about the animal noises! ;) This is perfect, fast-paced pop with uniquely British lyrics about getting rich and living in the country, where you can act crazy and the locals will just call you “eccentric”! This song really should have been the album closer, because it is a fab track. The actual final song, “We Wanna Party,” while a fun rock-infused tune, would have been better used as a bonus track. There’s nothing wrong with the song – it’s just not quite as “special” as the rest of the songs on the album. But it still ends the album on an energetic, party-ready note, so I can’t complain too much! :)