Cheryl 2.0

Lots of Girls Aloud fun this week. Nadine’s team had their first proper meeting planning ahead on Tuesday and then various journalists like NOTW Dan have been played some tracks from the album. The Tesco situation is yet to be revealed to the public, but I’m intrigued to know if it means the songs will be thus excluded from iTunes. Anyway, as good as the music might be (which I think peeps will get to hear next week), will she be able to conquer the media & general public? To me, she’s totally unlikeable. If you’ve not seen it before then you must watch this absolutely priceless clip of Nadine’s first TV appearance on the original Irish Popstars. It’s jaw-dropping, peep through your fingers car crash tv.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJCiztHvXnI[/youtube]Possibly my favourite video on the internet…

And perfectly timed, there’s a new Cheryl single. I have no doubt that this will have vanished by the time anyone gets into work, but in the meantime check out Promise This (or Promises? Her accent makes it pretty hard to tell). French children’s song ‘Alouette’ is obviously the hot thing in songwriting world at the moment with MDMR banging on about it in Mark Ronson’s magnificent ‘Bang Bang Bang’ and now this clip begining with Cheryl singing it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqROBk2VJpg[/youtube]

‘Video clip no longer avaliable’

Sing it girl!

xfactor

Making plans on a Saturday night for the last six months have been hell. While in previous years it didn’t really matter if you missed an episode or so of X Factor, this time round there was no way we were missing a single moment of Cheryl Cole time.

Two superstars were born this series. Alexandra and Cheryl. From the very first episode, Cheryl dazzled and proved that she really did have “the most beautiful eyes” Pete Waterman spotted all those years ago.  Honestly – is there anything more beautiful than Cheryl’s tear stained face? Despite the horrifying news that Eoghan won 6 shows (seriously!), it was always about the girls. From amazing Laura’s sudden defeat, Rachel’s transformation from brilliant auditionee to live train wreck, Diana’s claw, and Ruth’s rocking out to Alexandra’s win, the boys never stood a chance.

I’m so delighted Alexandra won and wow, what a show.  The duet with Beyonce was jaw-dropping, not only for managing to get her to perform, but watching Alex near collapse on her idol and the diva tastic hair flicking song itself. ‘Listen’ is my favourite Beyonce song and it’s impossible to watch this duet without feeling gleeful at Alexandra’s excitement and astonishment.

[youtube]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bV-ERgAHqXo[/youtube]

As well as a great result, the last two weeks of X Factor have also provided some comedy gold. Who could forget Eoghan’s song crashing as Diana left and as for this week? Well Alexandra snatching the winner’s CD off Dermot was funny enough for me, but also why was Mark from Westlife singing with severe and anger and don’t forget the very odd ‘Merry Christmas’ from one of JLS. Plus Cheryl herself made a bit of a boo boo in the press conference (flick to 1.28).

‘Hallejulah’ is breaking all sorts of chart records as we speak. I know it’s a bit of a gut wrenchingly music purist tune to cover, but despite the swelling key change I love it. It’s the first winners song I’ve ever bought.

Review: Girls Aloud – Out of Control

Even before Queen Cheryl of Cole sharpened her perfectly manicured judging nails to become the nation’s new sweetheart, Girls Aloud were adored by everyone from misery guts Noel Gallagher to toff David Cameron. Now teaming up with hit factory Xenomania again for their fifth studio album, our girls show no sign of giving up the hunt for the perfect pop song.

That perfect song might not, however, be exactly what you’re expecting. Instead of compelling us to race to the dancefloor and jump on our tutu, Out of Control has taken its lead from the success of icy ballad Call The Shots and brought us a shimmering album of heartbreaking electro pop with the tearstained melancholy of the Ashley baiting Love Is Pain its defining moment.

Forgetting about hugely disappointing Neil Tennant collaboration The Loving Kind, the Balearic bliss of epic seven minute marathon Untouchable and the haunting swirls of Turn 2 Stone (which cries out for a big trance remix) prove that you don’t have to be brassy to be brilliant. That said, if you’re running back to Tangled Up frantically searching for Girl Overboard, you need not fear. Although there aren’t as many stompers as usual, the sarcastic country of Love Is The Key and drum and bass anti-anarchy anthem Live In The Country, in which Sarah begs for a ”stall selling strawberry shortcake” will go some way in cheering you up. Miss You Bow Wow impresses as one big non-stop chorus and the dancehall mayhem of Revolution In The Head mean there’s no chance of an overly serious ‘we are no longer pop’ edict being issued.

Pop music at its finest, Girls Aloud have opened up their hearts, and finally won their battle against drippy, re-hashed ballads. Long may they reign.

Originally published at BBC Music

First Listen Review: Girls Aloud – Out Of Control

A new Girls Aloud album is a surefire way to put a smile on my face so I was super excited to receive their new album Out Of Control this week. I’ll be reviewing it for the BBC later, but here’s my first listen thoughts.

Overall you might be a bit disappointed if you’re a fan of the ‘Girl Overboard’ and ‘Biology’ side of the girls. They’ve cut back on frantic-ness and replaced it with gorgeous, soaring electro pop that’s just as good.

1. The Promise – It’s so exciting that they’re about to have their 4th #1 with this song. You’ve heard it though, although the album version has a longer intro and a repeat to fade ending.

2. The Loving Kind – This is a collaboration with Pet Shop Boys and the first of quite a few synth ballads. Being a GA & PSB collaboration it’s kind of a disappointment as it should be amazing. It has an epic verse but then the chorus doesn’t quite cut it. There’s no great hook.

3. Rolling Back The Rivers – Starts with a really strong big vocal almost acapella. I have no idea who is who though when they sing. Then when the music kicks in it sounds a bit like ‘Somethin’ Stupid’. It’s really smooth sounding and makes me roll my shoulders all about. Has a great ‘a-wooooo’ sound.
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