Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Standard post Girls Aloud girl group with some strong songs but anonymous voices, 22 Nov 2013
This review is from: Wonderland (Audio CD)
This review comes from an internet game. You buy an album you've never heard of from a shop. Then you write your impression of it before and after listening to it for the first time.

---BEFORE LISTENING TO IT---

WHY DID YOU SELECT THIS ONE? They look like a glossy, expensively launched major label (Mercury) girl band that failed. Just because they sold nothing doesn't mean they aren't good for a few solid to great pop songs. The song titles are alright with some hints of promise. They seem like a safe bet. As I've never heard of them I assume they were dropped after this debut.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE COVER? Five pretty girls lined up against a black background. It's not imaginative or clever, but it's better than any Girls Aloud or Sugababes album covers I can think of. It's not a genre that inspires much creativity in cover designs so by those low standards it's pretty good. It's understated and sort of classy with a nice band logo. The candelabra type design behind the name gives it a slightly gothic look. Also the tall redhead in the middle gives it symmetrical balance with the dark haired women on the left and the blondes on the right. The black and white photo on the back has them larking about on what looks like a roof. They are at least faking that they are happy to be there with gusto.

WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC ARE YOU REALISTICALLY EXPECTING? Saturdays style pop music. I assume they are, or were, competing for the same audience. I don't expect miracles. The album will probably be so-so but saved by about four to six songs that I'll be playing forever more.

BEST CASE SCENARIO IT WILL SOUND LIKE? I'll be happy if they sound like any of the references above.

WORST CASE SCENARIO IT WILL SOUND LIKE? Cheap sounding knock off production and bad singers with no personality.

HIGH, LOW OR MIDDLING EXPECTATIONS? Almost high.

ANY OTHER COMMENTS? A cover of `Rolling in the Deep' by Adele has been included as a bonus track. Could be interesting.

---AFTER LISTENING TO IT---

WHAT DID IT SOUND LIKE? Like a straightforward girl group that was a contemporary of The Saturdays in 2011. No eccentricities or unusual quirks.

DID YOU LIKE IT? Yes. The album was pretty solid with a few standout tracks, a few good songs, a few average songs and no outright turds. It's not particularly consistent but then I rarely expect pop albums to be knockout after knockout.

DID IT SATISFY, SURPASS OR FAIL YOUR EXPECTATIONS? Slightly surpassed them. I expected a few proper standouts, but the quality of them was more than I hoped for.

WHAT ARE THE BEST/WEAKEST SONGS?

1. "Not a Love Song" (9 out of 10)
3:25
Interesting guitar sound that reminds me of Chris Rea. Great little pop song. As good as I could hope for.

2. "Starlight" (7 out of 10)
3.32
Good pop song but of no real distinction. Could be by anyone as it's rather anonymous.

3. "Nothing Moves Me Anymore" (5 out of 10)
3:46
Slow ballad with acoustic guitar. Standard drippy stuff. Makes me shrug with total indifference. Neither good or bad. Lyrically not a master-class in original thinking.

4. "Need You Now" (5 out of 10)
3:48
Generic girl group filler. Nothing about it stands out and demands attention. Apparently it's a cover of a Lady Antebellum song.

5. "In Your Arms" (9 out of 10)
3:45
Good vocal melodies. Great loud bits. Quite in your face.

6. "Is It Just Me" (6 out of 10)
3:54
Perfectly okay.

7. "Why Here Why Now" (7 out of 10)
4:02
Good track with a slightly different sound to the rest of the album. The, `You were so the loving kind', lyric might be a deliberate nod to the Girls Aloud song.

8. "Time Has Run Out" (5 out of 10)
3:46
Generic lyrics but sounds nice. Competent filler.

9. "Emergency" (6 out of 10)
A cheerful up-tempo thing. Different sounding with the drums high in the mix. It's a nice change of pace.

10. "It Could Be You" (4 out of 10)
3:24
Awfully banal lyrics on this ballad. It's a cover of a song by Alexis Strum (who?). I'm not surprised it's buried in the album graveyard slot.

11. "Get Your Boots On" (7 out of 10)
3:09
A more wordy track that's all about the rapid vocal melody. Good.

12. "When The Stars Go Blue" (5 out of 10)
4:14
Acoustic guitars again for another ballad. Inoffensive beige thing with less than stellar lyrics. It's apparently a Ryan Adams cover.

13. "Rolling In the Deep" (8 out of 10)
3:34
Good version of a very good song. It's accurate and respectful of the original. The lead singer performs it well. The backing singers bleed too much into the lead vocal in my opinion.

Overall 7 out of 10. A solid album with some real highlights.

There isn't much personality to it though. All their voices sound the same. There were no unique or distinctive timbers or tones. It could have been one singer and a bunch of overdubs for all I could tell. The word `anonymous' keeps coming to mind.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT TO OTHERS? Yes. If you like Girls Aloud, The Saturdays or Sugababes then you can't go too far wrong with this.

PLEASE DESCRIBE AND SUM IT UP IN ONE SENTENCE. Standard post Girls Aloud girl group with some strong songs but anonymous voices.

ANY OTHER COMMENTS? They were formed by Louis Walsh and a Boyzone singer in Ireland in 2008. They were dropped by the label in 2011, and then disbanded in 2012. The album reached number eight in the UK so they did not bomb. It sounds more like label politics than commercial failure that led to them being dropped.

Someone who uses Wikipedia really likes them as their entry is strangely substantial.

---TWO MONTHS LATER---

HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE PLAYED IT? Maybe four times as an album and a lot on shuffle mixed in with other music.

HAS THE ALBUM IMPROVED OR WORSENED WITH TIME? Stayed the same. I think I had it pegged on first listen.

ANY PREVIOUSLY UNNOTICED SONGS NOW A NEW FAVOURITE? No.

ANY OTHER COMMENTS? 7 out of 10 overall.
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