Friday, July 4, 2014

Girls Aloud: A Retrospective! Yes Yes Yes…

I can't think of a better way to start my new blog than by talking about one of the greatest musical acts the world has ever seen. Girls Aloud represents every thing that went right with pop throughout the 2000's and, despite having no presence in America (such a crime), they had really been a part of my childhood. So let's go over who Girls Aloud are and why their magnificence should be honored throughout the universe.

Girls Aloud was formed through a reality TV show, as any credible celebrity has been. The judges on Popstars: The Rivals, which included Ginger Spice!!!, knew what they were doing when they picked Cheryl Tweedy (now Cole, then "Cheryl", now back to Cole), Nicola Roberts, Nadine "Nuh-deen" Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, & Sarah Harding to form what we now know as Girls Aloud. They released their first single "Sound of the Underground," got the 2002 Christmas number one, and solidified their position as Brit Pop Royalty. After five studio albums, their first greatest hits collection, two charity singles (the first a beautiful snorefest, the second a clear power play to show their dominance over the Sugababes), and this live performance, the group decided that while they were on top they might as well take a break for a year. A great idea, right? RIGHT?!?!
And so began the longest hiatus in musical history for every pop fan. Ultimately, this wasn't the worst thing. We saw the launch of Cheryl and Nicola's solo careers, Nadine's attempt at a solo career, Kimberley's stage acting career, and Sarah… well Sarah was in some movies ok? Then, on a bleak mid-November day in 2012, something new "Something New" descended from the heavens to bless our ears. A clear Girls Aloud classic, we knew we had our girls back. After another greatest hits album and an amazing tour, maybe the girls would be back for good? Maybe we could have another album that checks off every box on the Poptastic list? But no, on March 20 2013 (I was only 18 when I had to endure this trauma) Girls Aloud announced they had split up. And so ended the greatest girl group to impact the pop scene since the Spice Girls. But we will always remember their amazingness for generations.

So what made Girls Aloud so integral to modern pop? Well, it was honestly because their music (and yes, I mean the music) was so revolutionary. Most of that revolutionary quality came from their work with Xenomania, a name every true pop fan should become familiar with. Run by Brian Higgins, the man behind Cher's "Believe" (you're welcome gays), the production company helped write and produce every one of the Aloud's albums and continually reinvented their sound to stay 5 years ahead of the curve in pop music. With every irregular song structure, with every melodic reference, and every "OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?" moment, Girls Aloud epitomized cool, avant-garde pop music that transcended generations. Combine that with their girl next door from the 2000's that went onto pop stardom look and we get a musical act that rung up 20 consecutive top ten hits and remained on top for almost a decade.

So thank you to Cheryl, Nicola, Kimberley, Sarah, and Nadine. For everything.

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