By every unwritten law of pop music, Girls Aloud SHOULD be awful. A manufactured group, the product of an appalling reality TV show, they don't play any instruments, all their songs come from a hit factory's production line... how could they not be awful?
And yet, somehow, inexplicably, they're brilliant. Not brilliant in an ironic, postmodern, arched-eyebrow-and-knowing-smirk way - just brilliant. And its not only pop fans who love their records; serious musos and critics love them too.
Over a period of four years they've produced a dazzling array of joyous pop classics, and they're all included here. Despite the fact that the writing team at Xenomania works with many other artists, the songs they produce for Girls Aloud are somehow unique. I mean, who else but the Girls releases songs like 'Love Machine' or 'Biology'? There's just something wonderfully giddy and effervacious about a Girls Aloud song that makes it irresistable, no matter how hard you try to tell yourself you really shouldn't be enjoying it. It's difficult to pick favourites when the tunes are all of such high quality, but if pressed mine would be 'The Show' and 'No Good Advice'. They even manged to produce a terrific ballad in 'Life Got Cold'.
My only minor gripe (and it is a minor one) is the inclusion of the three cover versions, none of which have been as good as their original material. Nevertheless, this is an essentital album for anyone who loves their pop. Long may they continue!