[8] Girls Aloud, ‘Love Machine’

Girls Aloud

Frankly, I think I’ve written enough about Girls Aloud. I love them, Junior loves them, we all have a mad dance-off. I look ridiculous and Junior looks as if she could oust anyone who’s not pulling their weight.

‘Love Machine’ is a fairly straightforward beat group pastiche, that batters its ho-hum roots with manic enthusiasm, barmy lyrics and those excellent “oh”s. And Cheryl doing the claws.

Let’s go, eskimo:

[14] Girls Aloud, ‘Sexy! No No No…’

Girls Aloud, ‘Sexy! No No No…’

Junior jangled her keys to this one. I say “her keys”: she’d nabbed Nanny’s spare set from the dining room table and was refusing to give them back, a proper feisty Girl Aloud with no intention of relinquishing a winning position against all odds. They’re a phenomenon, this lot, showing staying power only rivalled by the execrable likes of Westlife and their peculiar hold on a lobotomised fanbase. That Girls Aloud have managed it while reeling out one inspired pop hit after another is something to be applauded, and cherished.

There are signs, however – sadly – that they’re slipping. The album Tangled Up is bland by their freewheeling standards, while ‘Sexy! No No No…’ is good but it’s no ‘Biology’ nor ‘Long Hot Summer’. It’s here by dint of its surprisingly forthright power, demanding inclusion simply because the consequences of omitting it are too chilling to imagine. It’s one big tease, lyrically and melodically, as the girls discover the potential of remaining demure and the writers experiment with the dispensation of a recognisable chorus. Bravo. I think.

[8] Girls Aloud, ‘Long Hot Summer’

They have power, astonishing power no doubt, but not even Girls Aloud can change the season. Junior and I ignore the Christmas tree for three or four minutes and put some effort into imagining it’s a July morning and we’re shaking like cool lemonades. She gets better results than me, because she’s not sitting there tackling the existential question of how on earth one can shake like a cool lemonade. Is it the bubbles? Or is it the movement of the liquid when the ice cubes are dropped in? Perhaps the lemonade shakes because Nadine, Kimberley et al are holding it while they sashay around the CD:UK stage? Like “I was 21 years when I wrote this song, I’m 22 now but I won’t be for long”, this latter theory would beg the question of how the performance came before the lyric.

We’re getting bogged down. Junior likes the song, and how could she not? It has at least two different bridges, a half-rapped middle eight and an unexpected ad lib at the end instead of a thoughtless repeat of the chorus. And it has “ba ba ba”s, making it a contender for First Song That Junior Will Actually Sing Along With.

It has competition from ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Telegram Sam’ and the Pearl & Dean theme.