2007 debut album fro the Britpop/Indie trio. The name is both a cheeky pun and a beautifully rounded image; infused with the nostalgia of innocent childhood and boyish adventure, yet suggestive of maturation towards experience, adulthood and disillusionment. Inspirational, quirky, escapist, and friendly, their music is unashamedly nostalgic, mottled with loss, disillusion and a poignant lamentation for innocent past times. Scouting For Girls debut album is packed with potential hits including current single Shes So Lovely plus stand outs Keep On Walking, James Bond and Elvis Aint Dead. Epic.
If there is a band or artist for every occasion, Scouting for Girls (SFG) are the saccharine-fuelled teeny-bopper's choice. Formed in 2005, the guitarless London trio make sun-kissed Sunday afternoon strolling music. While not exactly groundbreaking, their self-titled debut album tumbles and skips along happily enough; inoffensive, if not exactly life-affirming.
For happy-go-lucky couples it's the perfect 'relationship' soundtrack; there are plenty of tracks here that would make ideal 'our song' choices. Take 'The Airplane Song'; with its oh-so philosophical leanings and references to the airport - that eternal symbol of loss, love and patched-up break ups - it's a definite 'here's a compilation I made to celebrate our love' song.
There's a lot here too for emotionally-fraught teenage girls. On "It's Not About You" frontman Roy Stride sings: 'Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad' as he weighs up the deeper things in life with all the conviction of a wet tea towel. Beach Boys pastiche vocals creep in as heartbeat-skipping power chords loop round and round. It's cringe-worthy to all but lovers of the most sugary pop.
SFG steer clear of any real heartbreak; references to anything remotely resembling pain are coated with bright pick-yourself-up melodies and upbeat riffs. "I'm Not Over You" is a classic example; the lines 'She said it was over...I'm not over you and I know that I never will' cue a bouncy piano-laden chorus to make it all better.
For the under-tens, "She's So Lovely" has a nice, sweet melody and not a hint of anything lyrically controversial, perfect at a kids' birthday parties where jumping up and down constitutes dancing.
This is music for an all-inclusive club. It's no coincidence the band's fanclub is called The Wolfclub (members are known as 'wolfcubs' and there's even a secret code). Stride's vocal is a combination of Joel Pott from Athlete and, as has been noted several times, Eels frontman Mr E (who, it must be said, did the whole emotional thing rather more convincingly.
But perhaps a little slack needs to be cut. While SFG's life musings are not the stuff of music epics, their pop market appeal should not be so hastily dismissed; "Elvis Isn't Dead", for one is a damn fine pop song. The album is not aimed at music connoisseurs but lovelorn adolescents. As far as shimmery, gleaming up-tempo ballads go, Scouting for Girls have the upper hand. --Gemma Padley
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