Sound of the Underground

Sound of the Underground

by Girls Aloud

Overview

Girls Aloud is the leggy quintet that beat out rival boy band One True Voice for the grand prize during the November 2002 finale of Popstars: The Rivals. A scion of existing U.K. reality shows like Popstars and Pop Idol (which itself spawned American Idol), Rivals followed a similar formula, with one essential twist. After spending weeks building its bands with the normal round of tryouts, kick outs, voting, and drama, drama, drama, the program pitted its final products against one another in an ultimate pop-reality showdown. As usual, it didn't really matter which group won -- the finalists were to embark on the normal cash-in package tour as soon as possible. But something funny happened on the way to ringtone fame. Girls Aloud's debut single "Sound of the Underground" debuted at number one, One True Voice imploded, the collaborative tour was canceled, and the Girls suddenly emerged as something more than wide-eyed reality TV winners. The quintet embraced their newfound celebrity and set the lofty goal of being better than the Spice Girls. To that end, there's Sound of the Underground, a cleverly arranged tray of sweetmeats manufactured to firmly establish the Girls Aloud sound. Unlike Sporty, Baby, Scary, Ginger, and Posh, separate personas aren't part of the Girls Aloud marketing arc. Underground's cover features them in matching Fem-Bot silver -- there's no individuality beyond varying hair color. No, it's the sound that sells this combo. The hit title track is a mechanistic sashay of twangy surf guitar and sultry gang vocals -- Girls Aloud explodes like a five-headed Kylie Minogue. Follow-up single "No Good Advice" is just as good, if not better. That scraggly spy movie guitar returns, but it's fastened to a bopping "Material Girl"-style groove. Underground does a great job of carrying its sound and production through to the end, dropping sizzling guitar parts and kinetic dancefloor jams as deep in the dirt as "Boogie Down Love," its second-to-last track. "All I Need (All I Don't)" should be another club favorite, moving easily between new wave and lighthearted disco. Even "Life Got Cold" -- Underground's "2 Become 1" -- is a solid ballad, suggesting a less intellectual Dido (sample lyric: "We text as we eat/As we wait for the right of way"). But even in its quieter moments, Sound of the Underground is careful not to let any of the Girls take over. Their voices are average, and negligibly different. Unlike the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud has no self-styled MC or even a knickers-flashing loudmouth. Not yet, anyway. Despite their surprising debut, Girls Aloud and its brain trust will have to work twice as hard to retain the glamorous ground gained.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/2003
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602498653197
catalogNumber: 257584

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Girls Aloud   Primary Artist
Beatmasters   Keyboards
Nick Coler   Guitar,Keyboards
Gary Miller   Guitar
Esbjörn Öhrwall   Guitar
Graham Stack   Keyboards
Brian Higgins   Keyboards
Shawn Lee   Guitar
Tony Foster   Guitar
Tim Powell   Keyboards
Mat Gray   Keyboards
Christian Saint Val   Vocals
Bryan McFadden   wah wah guitar
Jonathon Shoton   wah wah guitar
Philip Sheppard   Cello
Mark Evans   Vocals
Ava Knox   Vocals

Technical Credits

Beatmasters   Programming,Producer
Betty Boo   Producer
Andy Goldmark   Composer
Nick Coler   Composer,Programming
Tim Kellett   Composer,Programming,Producer
Gary Miller   Producer
Brian Rawling   Producer
Shaun Ward   Composer
Mark Mueller   Composer
Jeremy Wheatley   Producer
Steve Lee   Composer
Graham Stack   Producer,drum programming
Nick Marion Taylor   Engineering
Anders "Bag" Bagge   Composer
Brian Higgins   Composer,Programming,Producer
Shawn Lee   Composer
Drew Peters   Engineer
Michelle Bell   Composer
Paul Carter   Composer
Tim Powell   Composer,Programming
Mat Gray   Programming
Arnthor   Arranger,Producer,Engineering
Xenomania   Composer,Producer
Jong Uk Yoon   Engineering
Arnthor Birgisson   Composer
Niara Scarlett   Composer
Bryan McFadden   Composer,Programming
Jonathon Shoton   Programming
Philip Sheppard   String Arrangements
Richard Edgeler   Engineer,Engineering
Mark Evans   Engineer
Ava Knox   Composer
Tim "Rolf" Larcombe   Programming
Peters and Peters   Producer
Matt Gray   Composer
Gary Miller   Composer
Miranda Cooper   Composer
Lisa Cowling   Composer
Jonathan Shorten   Composer
Steve Anderson   Composer,Producer

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Sound of the Underground 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago