Nov 07

Carry On Girls Aloud

FT7 comments • 769 views


The last Girls Aloud album, Chemistry, came with an excellent bonus disc of Christmas songs, including originals like “Not Tonight Santa” and “Christmas Round At Ours”, stuffed with goodwill and mild naughtiness of the “pull a cracker” variety.  They felt, somehow, like the most English things the Girls had ever done, at least until “Fling”, from the new record. “Just a fling baby, fling baby – ding-a-ling baby!” – on paper these lyrics make you cringe but they’re sung with music hall relish: this is one of the band’s spiciest* and strongest vocal performances, a brilliant predatory holler. The theme – inasmuch as you can pin Miranda Cooper lyrics down to a theme – is casual pick-ups, and the simple joy of the record is how it keeps shifting gears from generic Ritzy’s disco to a turbocharged new-wave mosh, catching you unawares with the aggression as the Girls spot a catch and pile onto the metaphorical dancefloor. The Lex, a man with a tin ear for vulgarity, absolutely hates it, but this is an awesome combination of seaside postcard brassiness and binge-drink-Britain shamelessness.

*If Geri had had songs like “Fling” back when she split the Spicers, that ‘female Robbie’ thing might have actually worked.


  1. 1
    Steve on 27 Nov 2007 #

    ‘but this is an awesome combination of seaside postcard brassiness and binge-drink-Britain shamelessness’

    but both of these things are irredeemably horrible. there must be something else that makes it better than that.

  2. 2
    Tom on 27 Nov 2007 #

    No they are what makes it good! Shooting people with guns is irredeemably horrible and there’s lots of great pop songs about that.

  3. 3
    Steve on 27 Nov 2007 #

    Maybe I mean that it’s a bit more stylish than those things. Maybe it isn’t though – certainly not lyrically by the sound of it. It’s a lot better than ‘Racey Lacey’ at least.

  4. 4
    Alan on 27 Nov 2007 #

    It’s more stylish because of the bangin choon. but lyrically for the execution and sentiment you have to dive in and feast, or hold your nose and stay away. It’s more crass (not Crass) than brass if you ask me, and i’ll opt to side with revelling generally and in this specific.

    racey lacey was a readers’ wives, littlewoods lingerie titillation comedy afterthought. this is more a ‘manifesto’ish song like Dragonette’s I Get Around.

    i still find their voices disconnected on it. perhaps that’s intentional and THEY don’t like the lyrics! (i doubt it)

  5. 5
    byebyepride on 28 Nov 2007 #

    Fling is just a bargain basement Bassment Jaxx knock-off, surely! I fear I am with teh lex on this one.

  6. 6
    Tom on 28 Nov 2007 #

    No – Basement Jaxx generally are scared of their own vulgarity so tend to try and subvert it with tricksiness or cramming too many production elements in. Xenomania usually do this too of course! Which is why “Fling”, like “Where’s Your Head At”, stands out.

  7. 7
    Monitor on 30 Nov 2007 #

    Yes, it’s a smashing song and one of the highlights of the superb second half of the Girls’ new record. I agree with you that Miranda Cooper’s lyrics are sometimes hard to fathom but it seems to be a song that turns the tabloid/cultural victims, pretty girls who go to nightclubs to hook footballers, into cultural agents. Which is a pompous way of saying that once again Girls Aloud are voices of new social groups.

    Musically it’s probably not Xenomania’s most original production. The overdriven synth-guitars under the Big Beat has been a staple of most of the singles this year (including the stunning cover of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ where it does it a little better). The music hall qualities of the singing work well and mostly the Girls carry it off. I think their vocal control of the style lapses a little semi-spoken rhymed couplets, especially ‘strip me of my modesty’ where it sound like the singer’s trying too hard (sorry, can’t tell them apart); though not on the chorus where their kind of vocal flatness sound wonderfully… implacable.

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