Ok, first off, I'm a fan...so will this be biased? Probably. That said, having followed the girls from conception in 2002 to the present 'days of glory', I feel I am well equipped to sort the wheat from the chaff where Girls Aloud are concerned. Bad choices are seldom seen with these ladies of course, but for the purposes of this review, let's say 'Whole Lotta History', 'See The Day' and 'Can't Speak French' never fully got my seal of approval...
However, I digress...after the phenomenal success of the 'Tangled Up' album, including the effervescent 'Sexy! No No No' and the stunning 'Call The Shots', it wasn't hard to see that Girls Aloud had found a a new melodic-electronic groove, and if Tangled Up was their Freshman attempt...'Out Of Control' is the graduating class of 2008!
From start to finish, this is pop at its very best. In true GA style, generic genres have been eschewed in favour of a fusion of styles and influences, culminating in some truly amazing songs...here's my pick of the very best:
==The Loving Kind==
A collaboration with The Pet Shop Boys, very much in the vein of Call The Shots, with a truly beautiful riff from Nicola that will just grab you instantly.
==Rolling Back The Rivers=
A mid-tempo delight, with some full-on soul from Nadine. And, as we've come to expect, different from anything they've ever done.
==Turn To Stone==
Another electro-ballad, the refrain and middle-eight are to die for...dreamy, ethereal...with some gorgeous vocals from Cheryl.
My absolute standout track on the album...this is potentially as good as Kylie's whole X album (and then some)...6 and a half minutes of sheer perfection..."we're beautiful robots dancing alone"...need I say more?
==Love Is Pain==
This is a beautiful nod to early 90s electronica, and is rendered with delecious zeal...the girls are well in their comfort zone here.
==Miss You Bow Wow==
A definite and decided change of pace, and defintely a standout track...It's Blondie meets Republica, and when is that a bad thing...ever?
==Live In The Country==
Ludicrous...but oh so catchy. This is like some crazy homage to Blur via Prodigy...with a little bit of Bananarama thrown in for good measure...basically it's Sound of The Underground...on drugs....it should also be noted that the track fades out to the sound of bleating sheep...It's eccentric, out there, and oh so British.
Yes, Girls Aloud are back...not content with being the UK's biggest Girl Band, they are looking to burrow into your concious with the very best album of their illustrious career.
Buy it...buy it now.