1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Catchy Catchy Fun,
This review is from: What Will the Neighbours Say? (Audio CD)
Suprising members of the press and the British public with their debut album not being the piece of rubbish it was expected to be, Girls Aloud had a lot to live up to with "What Will the Neighbours Say" and after listening to the album you know they've succeeded. Building on the success of "Sound of the Underground" which although was extremely well produced for a debut album, it was also undoubtably flawed, Xenomania have taken what worked well in the first album, and moved it forward. Theres no particular growth in the album; the girls stick to cheesy feel good pop, and it wont be until "Chemistry" that the Girls actually move forward with their sound, but it works and it was the right choice for the sophomore album.
"What Will The Neighbours Say?" benefits from a set of extremely strong set of singles. "The Show" and "Love Machine" are both highly original, delving into pop sounds that havent been explored in the charts for a long while, yet retaining Girls Aloud's defining sound. Its this blend of styles that sets Girls Aloud apart from the rest of the pop scene, allieviating them to critical acclaim, and both of the first two singles show originality from the band that wont be seen until "Biology" is released a year later.
"I'll Stand By You" doesnt add much to the album apart from to reinforce the fact that when these Girls really want to sing, boy can they sing. Although a pointless addition, its worth including just to hear how they make the song actually soar in the chorus with amazing vocals that show there not just pretty faces. "Jump" is infectious and easy to dance too, as is "Wake Me Up".
To be a good album though, the rest of the unreleased songs have to be up to the standard. And they are. The two stand-out songs are "Graffiti My Soul" and "Deadlines and Diets", the first being unrelentless and refreshing in its guitar riffs and "skin-tight jeans". Better even than "Love Machine" and "The Show", "Graffiti My Soul" is the stand-out track on the album, showcasing the underused Kimberly, who it seems had the song written for her. Having proved they could do ballads well with "Life Got Cold" on the first album, they raise the notch with "Deadlines and Diets" which is cool and easy to listen to with a catchy chorus that lingers in the mind.
Of the rest of the tracks, "Big Brother" works well, unless you look at it from an incestous perspective, and then it seems the girls really are trying to push the boundaries of music as does "Thank Me Daddy". "Here We Go" starts off very slow and boring, however builds to a very satisfying song, however it seems more like it would fit better on the first album than the second. The ballads are less succesful with "Hear Me Out" being the best of a mediocre bunch. Its nice to hear Nicola taking a stronger role on "I Say A Prayer For You", she's got the voice, she just needs to be used more.
Overall "What Will The Neighbours Say?" is a succesful piece of pop music that is clever enough to blend in different elements, such as rock, dance and electronica without sounding overdone or pieced together. It raises the boundaries for the rest of the scene, and proves that Girls Aloud are a talent beyond the generic Girl band. There are some incredible pop songs on here, slightly weighed down with some lower key ballads, which although not up to the standard of "Deadlines and Diets" are nowhere near to being described as simply "filler". All in all, its a must have album, that can be listened to over and over again, the true test of whether an album is to be truly counted as succesful. They've raised the bar yet again.