Chemistry

Studio Album by released in 2005
Chemistry's tracklist:
Intro
Models
Biology
Wild Horses
See the Day
Watch Me Go
Waiting
Whole Lotta History
Long Hot Summer
Swinging London Town
It's Magic
No Regrets
Racy Lacey

Chemistry review

Chemistry finds Girls Aloud hitting their stride on their third album

It’s only been a little over 12 months since Girls Aloud released their last album What Will The Neighbours Say? But a lot seems to have happened since that time – the girls appear to have grown up somewhat. As with Will Young, Chemistry finds a mainstream act hitting their stride on their third album. It remains rooted in pop territory but there is something a little more lively about it. There’s a mixture of sounds – rock, house, electro, salsa, rap and ska – that help it to move away from the bland and inconsequential to the shamelessly catchy and borderline feelgood. Girls Aloud know all about collaboration, having enjoyed a longtime relationship with their own team of songwriters and producers, resulting in some truly great songs. Sound of the Underground, No Good Advice, The Show and Love Machine – two songs each from their first two albums – are defining singles of the modern pop era. This album's lead song, Biology, adds to the band's impressive list of singles. Presumably the singles lifted from Chemistry will fill most of the remaining places in what will be 2006's most exhilarating greatest hits compilation.

Every single track here could be a potential single

It's an album sprinkled with the usual Xenomania magic – the single Biology is about as far from tired formula as you can possibly get. It sounds like three separate melodies condensed into one, from the Muddy Waters-apeing riff at the start, through to the glorious pop sheen of the verses, and having the sheer balls to wait two minutes before even introducing a chorus. Every single track here could be a potential single – Models is a hilarious sidesweep at celebrity hanger-ons, set to one of the most infectious melodies you'll ever hear, while Swinging London Town contains a grinding disco beat and a retro electronic sound. Wild Horses meanwhile, is just barmy – it starts with a choirgirl introduction before galloping off into another typically fresh sounding Xenomania tune. And other than having fun, dancey pop pleasures to shake your body to, there's also the impressive ballad called Whole Lotta History – which will most likely be the first Girls Aloud song to bring you to tears. They even manage to do a decent cover version this time – their interpretation of DC Lee's See The Day should wipe away all memories of I'll Stand By You, and will be the girls' Christmas single. It’s Magic and No Regrets explore yet more electronica and draw the album to a satisfying close – one in a funky upbeat style, the other in a low-key sultry fashion.

Consistent partnership with Brian Higgins and Xenomania

Spawn of hateful reality TV they may be, but this fame-seeking fivesome have turned out to be one of pop's more interesting propositions. They did not try to ape some American girl group, nor did they jump aboard the Brit R&B bandwagon. Instead, they have given us quirky, ingenious English pop, which just gets better and better. A huge part of the magic formula is the consistent partnership Girls Aloud have had with Brian Higgins and Xenomania. Stunning production work and true vocal talent has always set Girls Aloud apart from their peers, and this album is no different in that respect, proving yet again that pop music is by no means a lightweight or throwaway genre. In a year when good pop has been rather thin on the ground, Girls Aloud's Chemistry manages to create quite a fizz in the test-tube. It is an album that will make you laugh, make you dance, make you feel happy and make you feel sad (in a good way). If Girls Aloud continue to develop in such fashion then the future could well be very interesting indeed.

(14.12.2005)
Rate review4.77
Total votes - 53


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