Who would have thunk it? Pop Idol and the various reality show imitators aren’t known for churning out really successful acts, but just for once they did manage to get it right with Girls Aloud – one of the winning acts from Pop Stars: The Rivals back in 2002. In the intervening five years they’ve released not only four studio albums, but also a greatest hits and they play to huge crowds while touring.
Granted, they appeal to the younger demographic – their tunes are perfectly tuned to kids ears and their look is one that has an obvious attraction for the lads who don’t listen to the band for their music, however they shouldn’t be written off as just another manufactured group even if that is exactly what they are. Girls Aloud don’t take themselves too seriously and in a time when pop is often just another name for bland ballads, the spunky cheeky sound of this band is something of a refreshment.
Tangled Up opens with Call The Shots – the second single off the album and a huge improvement over their previous single release, the bland and boring Sexy No No No. There’s little doubt that any of these tracks wouldn’t make it as a successful single release – and that’s something that the girls have managed to do time and time again. Unlike their peers, each album is packed with classic tunes with very little space wasted on filler. Fair enough not every track is a success, with the aforementioned Sexy No No No missing the mark most spectacularly. For the most part, however, they don’t really step too far from the successful formula.
The album keeps an upbeat pace most of the way through with only the closing track approaching anywhere near the sound of the dreaded ‘ballad’ sound. There are some obvious club floor fillers chucked in too with ‘Close to Love‘ really having a strong energy.
Tangled Up is the perfect stocking present for your young niece, but don’t discount it out of hand. It is a perfect slice of pop and that’s something that’s all too lacking in this day and age. Along with the Sugababes, Girls Aloud are flying the flag for girl pop groups much more strongly than anything we’ve had in the last couple of decades, and they should be remember for that for many years to come.