so the new girls aloud album ‘out of control’ is now online despite being officially released on november 3rd. i’ve already pre-ordered it, obviously, but i couldn’t help but listen to it ahead of time anyway. despite my previous objections to a certain girl aloud i can’t help but love girls aloud as a whole. OUT OF CONTROL IS AMAZING.
before i move on to gushing about the amazing-ness of ‘out of control’ i must first point out some initial objections. most importantly the album cover. the above image is my favourite of many fan-made covers generated in the heat of angry message board posts by a veritable orgy of angry girls aloud fans. (fans aloud?) those with hardy constitutions feel free to click here and see the actual album cover as i didn’t think i could stand looking at it on my blog . it is perhaps the tackiest album cover since britney’s in the zone. i mean it’s just embarrassing that anyone would think that’s appropriate to sell to people, especially after the stellar covers for the last three girls aloud studio albums (what will the neighbours say?, chemistry, tangled up – click to enlarge).
my favourite has always been what will the neighbours say because i love the girls aloud logo. actually, the chemistry album even had a special edition which had a bonus christmas disc and cover which was fantastic – click to view. i mean how come they could afford to do two covers for chemistry and now that girls aloud are, if anything, more popular than ever they choose to do a shitty cheap ass cover? i blame their poor-ass record label fascination records who, unfortunately for me, also release sophie ellis-bextors albums.
ok though, broke-ass album cover aside, the album is GENIUS. i wasn’t the biggest fan of ‘tangled up’ but it certainly had its high points which included some funky funky music. i’ve always been more a ‘chemistry’ man and i’m happy to say that ‘out of control’ incorporates more of that sound. in fact it almost sounds like someone threw ‘tangled up’ and ‘chemistry’ at each other and the resulting explosion produced ‘out of control.’ it’s rock solid from beginning to end (not including an unfortunate bonus track mis-step).
the album starts of with lead single ‘the promise’ which this week landed at number 1 on the british singles chart, and quickly follows it up with pet shop boys collaboration ‘the loving kind’ which, as expected, is inspired pop perfection. my favourite track so far is ‘rolling back the river in time’ which is a light & fluffy masterpiece to which i’m already imagining a yacht-party music video that would surely stretch the girls’ usual 20 dollar budget. ‘Love is the key’ is a brilliant 60s pastiche, ‘turn 2 stone’ is dark and beat driven and ‘untouchable’ is an electro epic. at almost 7 minutes long it is the perfect mix of heartbreaking and storming, pulsing synths. ‘Fix me up’ is down-right filthy and reminds me of something george michael might produce, ‘Love is pain’ is another depressing electro number (a theme seems to be emerging) and ‘miss you bow wow’ is classic girls aloud that perfectly sums up the ‘tangled up’ meets ‘chemistry’ vibe of the whole album. penultimate track ‘revolution in the head’ bursts out of the gate with big brass repetitions and the somehow insanely catchy ‘gimme da ting gimme da ting gimme da uh uh oh.’ it also has claps(!). finally, ‘live in the country’, which has been described as ‘swinging london town’ part 2, starts up with a deep bass line and animal noises before the girls go on to talking about (what else?) living in the country. it ends with a plethora of animal noises from kittens to lions and everything inbetween. completely ridiculous and obviously fantastic. xenomania have worked their charm again and ‘out of control’ is probably the best pop album of the year.
i’ll stand by that last part until i’ve heard the new britney.
the only disappointment, musically speaking, is the inclusion of bonus track ‘we wanna party,’ originally by lene from aqua. it is far too obvious and not nearly enough fun to feel at home on ‘out of control.’ in all honesty it should have just been left off the album as 11 tracks of perfection is much better than 12 with a final let-down. i bet it was cheryl’s idea.