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Out of Control Import
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UK edition includes one bonus track, We Wanna Party. 2008 release from the UKs premiere girl group, who continue to take Pop music to places its never been before. Five albums into their career they are trailblazers who have consistently raised the bar and changed what it means to be a girlband in the 21st century. Working again with the Xenomania team, Girls Aloud have been constantly challenging themselves in the studio. The lead single, `The Promise sees the girls explore the lush sounds of the 60s. Its a sound that has already proved to be a winner. Even before release the single is already one of the most played Girls Aloud songs on radio. 12 tracks. Polydor.
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But there's no doubt that is looking to be GA's most successful album yet - it recently reached #1 in the UK album charts, GA's first studio album to reach the top.
My opinion of the album? It's one of GA's best albums yet. I know I say that about every album they release, but this time I mean it. In the ranking of their albums, it would be their second best after Chemistry.
Out Of Control opens with the lead single from the album, "The Promise." This was GA's fourth #1 single, and one of their biggest sellers to date. It's also a very good song. The first time I heard it, I thought it was really weird but it quickly grew on me. The catchy 60's feel of the song was infectious and soon I couldn't get it out of my head. When you hear it on OOC, it's a bit out of place, and not one of the better songs on the album. But on it's own, it's awesome.
Track 2 is "The Loving Kind." This song is famous because it was produced by the Pet Shop Boys. GA fans all over rave about this track, but I don't get the hype. I find this song really boring. It's going to be GA's next single, but I don't agree with the choice. This is not up to GA's usual standards in my opinion. I hardly ever listen to it.
The next track is "Rolling Back The Rivers In Time." On my first listen through of the CD, this was a favourite. And it still is, but I have to be in the right mood, otherwise it bores me. It's got this really cool retro feel to it, and the chorus is really catchy. It also has this interesting acapella opening done by Nadine.
Track 4 is "Love Is The Key." This is one of the other 'meh' songs on the album for me. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. It's just average, like "Control Of The Knife" was on Tangled Up.
Things start to really pick up with the next track, "Turn To Stone." This is one of my favourites! I didn't like it much on the first couple of listens, but once I listened to it a bit more, it's greatness just hit me. I just love the dancey feel to this track! Some may say it's a bit repetitive, but I think the repeated chorus lines really work.
Next is "Untouchable" - this is my ABSOLUTE favourite song on the whole album!! I just love it so much, it's one of GA's best songs to date and definitely the standout on OOC. Some may be put off by the song's 6 and a half minute running time, but trust me, it's worth it. This song is stunning, magical, hot and just plain amazing. All the girls sound fantastic on this track, especially Nicola. The lyrics are also stunning, some of the best lyrics written for the girls so far ("like beautiful robots, dancing alone"). A beautiful song and the standout!!
"Fix Me Up" follows, and unfortunately it can't live up to "Untouchable" - it's better then "Love Is The Key" but still quite a 'meh' song to me. It's catchy though.
"Love Is Pain" is next, and it's another dancey track. This song is really catchy and quite dancey and has cool lyrics. Cheryl's end vocals are really awesome. Another favourite of mine.
"Miss You Bow Wow" is track 9, and yet another favourite of mine. Some people think this song is too weird, but if you say that, you must not be that big of a GA fan, cos they have lots of weird songs. This song is soooooo catchy! I love the chorus and the "I'm living that dream" part that Sarah sings, cos she sounds awesome. One of the best upbeat tracks on the CD.
"Revolution In The Head" is next, and yet another highlight. This was my favourite song on the first listen, and it's still a fave now. With one of the catchiest hooks on the whole album in Nadine's "gimme da ting, gimme da ting, gimme da oh oh oh" this is just a fabulous track. So catchy and fun. Cool lyrics too.
"Live In The Country" is the album's last official track and it's a bad way to end. This song is HORRIBLE. I hate it. It's one of GA's worst tracks to date. Well, ok, it has cool lyrics and a catchy chorus but the animal noises make me cringe and the whole idea of the song is really tacky. Not a good track at all.
The UK bonus track is "We Wanna Party" - originally done by Lene from Aqua on her solo album. This song is pretty good, it's way better then "Live In The Country" and it has good lyrics.
Miss You Bow Wow
Turn To Stone
Revolution In The Head
Rolling Back The Rivers In Time
Minus a couple of bad songs, this is a stellar album. GA seem to be getting more successful as time goes by with a #1 album and a #1 single, I hope they last for a long time yet.
I just have one request for the girls - Untouchable for a single, please!!
5 stars for sure. Buy this now!
It includes massive hits! Such as "The Promise", "The Love Kind" which was produced by the Legendary "Pet shop boys"
And believe me by saying MANY MORE HITS.
It's a mix of Dance and Electronic groove hits, Some how familiar to Madonna's Confessions on a Dance floor!
The Deluxe edition comes with a DVD pack, Including HQ glittering pictures and 2 CDS, The first CD contains the tracks of the album, And the second one containing the making of Out of Control, Amazing and truly worth every penny.
Needless to say, as Cheryl Cole sprung into international superstardom thanks to The X Factor on YouTube, I became curious. I started with her solo albums before buying the entire Girls Aloud catalog on Amazon. While her solo works are exactly what I expected - lightweight pop song guilty pleasures - the Girls Aloud work was something different altogether: lush, imaginative arena pop with an edgy, indie rock mentality.
Credit writers/producers Xenomania for the songs - and guitarist Johnny Marr of the Smiths for a dash of extra cool (he plays lightly on many of this album's tracks). Read Wikipedia's listings on Xenomania and Girls Aloud for a much better dissection of their innovative approach to song structure. All I can say is - wow, this is some of the best pop music to wash upon any shores in the past 25 years. If you like Swede hipster pop stars like Annie (also a Xenomania project) and Robyn, then you'll love this.
Some of the tracks are pure, euphoric, unforgettable pop: Untouchable is simply smashing - one of the best pop singles of all time. But then there's the weird tracks. "Live in the Country" would have fit nicely in on Blur's masterpiece "Parklife." "Revolution in the Head" is also very dark, edgy and indie - with a sinister verse and chorus. "Fix Me Up" is a monster of a song that would have fit The Pussycat Dolls nicely - but only the Girls' could handle the snarl and sass of the track.
Which brings up a good topic - the other Girls in Girls Aloud. Their voices weave in and out of the mix so seamlessly, its hard to tell when one starts and the other stops. They're all very talented and beautiful beyond words. While their videos mostly feel stale and awkward (quick everyone raise and sway your left arm), their penchant for glamorous and colorful dresses recalls a better time when pop stars were fashion icons instead of WhoreNuns and femmebots.
All I can do is urge some record company to get off their duffs and re-release the Girls Stateside as or before Cheryl takes on X Factor USA - global domination is eminent for pop this perfect.
1.)The Promise-Very good song but frankly(IMO)not nearly as good as all the hype surounding it suggests. I can understand why it was the single though.
2.)The Loving Kind- Great electro-pop, midtempo track. Nicola's pleading "I'd do anything" sounds heartbreaking and sincere.
3.)Rolling Back The Rivers In Time- A nice song but sounds a little filler-ish to me.
4.)Love Is The Key- One of the best on OCC(IMO)very 60's sounding(slightly remisant of"Waiting" on Chemistry) great harmonica solo as well.
5.)Turn To Stone- I loved this when I first heard it but now I've kind of fallen out of love with it. Very good icy pop song though.
6.)Untouchable-GA's over 6 minute long opus is indeed great. A little boring in some spots(IMO) but great and very well done. Nadine's solo at the end is a gem.
7.)Fix Me Up- I love this song! many feel it was chessy or out of place but I strongly dissagree. I feel after the drama of Untouchable this very funky flirty song is much needed.
8.)Love Is Pain- A little like "Close to love" on Tangled up in a way but very very good song.
9.)Miss You(Bow Wow)-One of my least favorite songs on OCC very silly to me but still well done job by the girls.
10.)Revolution In The Head-#1 song on OCC(IMO)GA repeats the funky, reggae sound from Control Of the Knife on Tangled Up but even better! It has a message telling Gen.Y to get up and DO something instead of play more Rock Band"Revolution in the head don't count for nothing" plus Nadine's little rapping is GOLD!
11.)Live In The Country- Most people HATE this song and you will hear why. It is (IMO) the worst song on OCC. From the bland lyrics to the awful animal sound effects this just has NO written all over it.
12.)We Wanna Party- A much better way to close out the album( and slightly redeem from l.i.t.c.) Not a gem but a good song.
Overall listening to the first record and this shows how far in the right direction GA has come from girls to women, and how much more they have to accomplish.
Nope, not Girls Aloud!! Honestly, they are a 21st century Shangri-La's or Ronettes, equally loved by pop fans and rock & roll/alternative music fans and critics. There's ART to their records, to their original, exciting take on pop music, and the girls are very involved with the writing, arranging and craft. The music is quite diverse, incorporating sophisticated British pop, dangerous rock & roll, exciting dance music, even dancehall reggae and other forms, plus they have excellent taste in cover tunes, AND they actually sing live, not lip-synch, unlike many US pop-oriented girlgroups. And the way they actually sing their songs is unique, intricately arranging their songs, each girl singing a line or part in the song and coming together on the choruses...they don't have 1 lead singer and they rest in the background, unlike most girlgroups. And, how many girlgroups can you name who were covered by Arctic Monkeys and inspired Franz Ferdinand to want to work with their production team?? Didn't think so. Plus they sound even better than they look, and their looks are modelesque-stunning.
Anyhoo, back to the subject at hand...Girls Aloud's "Out Of Control". On this 12-track stunner, they incorporate sounds of 60s pop to wonderful effect, along with their electronic touches and more...here goes:
1- "The Promise", a #1 single in the UK, their 4th, and it sounds like a 60s Burt Bacharach song Swing Out Sister would do...love it.
2- "The Loving Kind", their collabo with the Pet Shop Boys, and it's killer pretty & sounds like a song they would do, and it was originally going to be on their current album, "Yes", but they weren't feeling it as much, so Xenomania gave it to Girls Aloud.
3- "Rolling Back The Rivers In Time"...lovely, harmonious, well-written pop song...didn't like it as much at first, but it seriously grew on me.
4- "Love Is The Key"...shoulda been a single, period. Killer, Nancy Sinatra-influenced 60s pop strutter, and even features a harmonica solo at the end by one JOHNNY MARR, guitarist with the Smiths and Electronic, a Britpop legend on a GA song...like a seal of approval. And as for the lyrics, which are fun, it's not "tiles & curtains", it's "TOWELS & curtains"...just sayin'.
5- "Turn To Stone"...LOVE this song...has a cool electronic, 80s feel, a bit Kylie-ish on the chorus...sorry that one reviewer didn't care for it and found the chorus snoozy...to each their own, I find it sublime.
6- "Untouchable"...BIG TIME SUBLIME...I could listen to this song on repeat for hours and not get sick of it, it's so gorgeous...and the 6 minutes plus running time feels like 30 seconds, like you're on a floating pillow or something...and I LOVE the video.
7- "Fix Me Up"...at first it was a skip-over for me, but it grew on me a lot...it's like GA's take on funky R&B, but it actually works and it's a fun song...still, if I had to pick a song to skip over, it would be this one, and even more so, following right after the sublime "Untouchable", like a crash down to earth...I still like it, but it's just not a highlight of the album for me...it would sound better next to another song really.
8- "Love Is Pain"...for some reason, melodically, it sounds like "The Bad Touch" by the Bloodhound Gang...ya know, that funny, juvenile song "You & Me, we ain't nothing but mammals, so lets do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel"...which is a good thing, as that song and this one have a great melody in an electronic arrangement, along the lines of "Turn To Stone" but more aggressive...like it a lot.
9- "Miss You Bow Wow"...catchy catchy catchy fun fun fun...and silly & hilarious too...like the "999 get a doctor" lines too...and it holds up as a killer pop tune, 60s in flavor, one of their best moments...shoulda been a single.
10- "Revolution In The Head"...Girls Aloud's take on dancehall reggae, and it works...just not as well as the better songs on the record, like "Untouchable"...I still like it but don't love it.
11- "Live In The Country"...complete with fun animal noises, it's a better song than it first seems, and the chorus stays with you...although, in a way, it should have been a country song.
12- BONUS TRACK "We Wanna Party"...their second cover of a song off Lene from AQUA's lone solo album from 2003, "Play With Me"...the other one is "Here We Go"...both those songs were the only 2 produced and written by/with Xenomania, and as that album tanked, Brian/Miranda/etc probably wanted to salvage those songs by giving them to their most successful clients, Girls Aloud, instead of have them die unnoticed in obscurity...OK, here's the thing..."Here We Go" was perfect in both versions...it's just a great song, period, and no one could damage it, espesh not our Girls...as for "We Wanna Party", Lene's version was just OK and the song was a little on the weak side...the Girls tossed it around, beat it up, molded it into shape, and basically did what they could with it...they DID improve it, but the song is still just OK, it's a better version, it is likable, but should have been a B-side, not an album closer.
Overall...out of 10, I'd give the album an 8.5 to a 9...it's one of their best albums, if not their best one yet...a couple of weaker spots, but most great albums have weaker spots to give the album ebb & flow, otherwise...if it was all highlights, it would wear out it's welcome more quickly, and those spots give the album more character...so there we go.
Looking forward to the Girls' next album, end of 2010, after their little hiatus.
Part 2...just got the deluxe edition, and honestly, you need both versions for all the pics, BUT this deluxe has full lyrics, lots more OTHER pics of the girls, and the key part, a second CD featuring interviews and commentary...it's cool, 1 track, 29 minutes long plus change...and features demo versions of the songs as a work in progress...the girls comment on it all, and it's a fun listen, not a onetime listen...I like how it's Sara who says those who bought the regular album already, hardcore fans as she calls us, who wants a collector's item, this is it. They comment on their fave songs on the album, The Smiths' Johnny Marr on "Love Is The Key", the Pet Shop Boys on "The Loving Kind", and while doing this interview, they haven't seen the album yet, and as it's presented to them, they let out a collective scream of excitement. I love their accents and it's nice to hear who's who.
Overall, great record, their best one yet, but this package is a real treat and limited, so if you're a fan, get this edition, or both for all the pictures.