Hey, MP! So I hear will.i.am has a new album out. Any good?
Yes indeed he does. That all-seeing, all-promoting rap-pop star and curious-coiffed The Voice judge has taken a break from being Chezza’s BFF and released his long-awaited album of hits-in-the-waiting, #willpower.
Is the hashtag really necessary?
Do we think so? Not really but this is the guy who Tweeted in the middle of doing a part of the London Olympic Torch relay last year, so… not surprised, let’s put it that way.
Apart from the singles we already have, what’s good on the album?
Hmm… well upcoming single ‘Fall Down’ with returning Disney alumn Miley Cyrus is easily one of the best songs on the album – it’s fun, it’s dance-y without becoming boring and it’s a great turn for Miley who’s making a bit of a musical comeback. Other good tunes include solo effort ‘Hello’ and Scherzy-baby collab ‘Far Away From Home’ which are both catchy and destined for the summer airwaves.
Any stinkers on the album?
Sadly, not all of it is good – there’s a lot of sameness on the record and despite his efforts to go R&B (Getting Dumb, Geekin’) and more hip-hop (Ghetto Ghetto), a lot of is the same stuff we’ve heard a hundred times over. Not even the guest collabs can save some of the songs – ‘thatPower’ with a certain Mr Bieber is catchy for about fifteen seconds and dull the rest of the song. We’re also a bit miffed he didn’t get Chezza a guest spot for the album but then maybe we’re just suffering Girls Aloud-related withdrawals.
So it’s not worth buying the whole album?
Probably not, no. The bonus tracks aren’t too bad but really, this is an album basically for the singles, much like Calvin Harris’ ’18 Months’ album. The previous singles like ‘This Is Love’ and ‘Scream & Shout’ are both still fun but chances are you bought them a while back. In short, pick at the album but don’t go expecting anything more than fun, disposable dance-pop that’ll be the soundtrack to parties for the next few months.
You’re welcome reader and enjoy the album – will.i.am streamed the whole thing on YouTube for everyone to listen to ahead of its album release, so go and listen for yourselves before buying!
Last night, after completing the final show of their comeback/reunion/greatest hits tour ‘Ten’, Girls Aloud announced that they are splitting for good. As a Girls Aloud superfan @BoyCotton has spent the day wearing all black (and his tour t-shirt) and is currently consulting various helplines in order to make it through the rest of the week. In between bouts of hyperventilation and fits of tears, he had this to write to the band:
Goodbye Girls Aloud.
You sang some good songs, you sang some great songs and sometimes (only sometimes mind) you even sang some bad songs. But all-in-all, you were pretty brilliant. You were probably the best. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t see this coming, its been circulating on the grapevine for a while that this was always a ‘goodbye’ tour rather a ‘comeback’ tour. But such is the quality of your output over these past ten years that we hoped somehow you’d make it into the studio and record another album of the year. Alas, it wasn’t to happen.
Throughout your time as a band you have been absolute gold. You have had a Midas touch regarding singles, everything you touched turned to gold. Indeed, you managed to rack up an impressive twenty top-ten consecutive singles – something not done by any other girlband (or pop act) before or after. What set you apart from the rest? Perhaps you weren’t the best singers (though you weren’t the worst), perhaps you weren’t the best dancers (though, again, you weren’t the worst) but you had an incredible likeability, an exasperatingly ambitious work-ethic and a dedication to pop-super-stardom that left the others for dust. No-one even comes close.
What better way to go out than on top? The ‘Ten’ tour was phenomenal. After seeing the show there is no-one (of sound mind and of working ears) who could be left denying your absolute power. You survived ‘the curse’ of reality television simply through being good enough to prove you never needed it anyway. As Shayne Wards and Michelle McManuses have come and gone, you have remained on top. Indeed, there were dark days back in 2005 when you were the only glimmer of hope in British pop music. In a period when pop music couldn’t and wouldn’t sell, you were defying everyone and scoring hit after hit. Eventually in 2009, after six years, you were awarded the Best British Single Brit Award for ‘The Promise’.
That you only notched up one Brit Award in your career is astounding. Another major thing that sets you out from the rest is your unmistakabley British sound. Where other pop acts looked to America and Sweden to dictate their sound, you and Xenomania created a unique pop sound all of your own. ‘Call the Shots’, ‘Biology’ and ‘The Show’ are wonderfully-crafted, anarchic slices of pop joy that, if there’s any justice, will be considered amongst the greatest British songs of all time. To be honest, that the Olympic closing ceremony wasn’t an epic three-hour-long Girls Aloud reunion show is probably the greatest injustice the world of sport has ever seen.
But maybe your comeback would’ve been wasted on the world. You kept it for the fans. The atmosphere at the O2 Arena in London at the beginning of the month was magical. You held your audience captive. Ten years is a long time in pop music and to many of us you were the soundtrack to our adolescence (and probably, for most of us, to our sexuality). Your power has always been your fans, and for all the love and admiration given to you, you have always given it back ten-fold. We loved Girls Aloud, and crucially I think, so did you. Not because it was a paycheck. Not because it made you famous. But because you loved performing and loved being the best girlband in the world.
You are and forever will be Untouchable. Thank you.
POP BITS. Reluctantly they’ve had to go back on a promise they made, promise they made. It was set to be the St. Paddy’s party to all St. Paddy’s parties but regrettably Girls Aloud have been forced to cancel their gig in Dublin’s O2 next Sunday. This is due to “unforeseen time restraints with the transportation of production equipment between the Irish & UK tour dates”. The girls will still play their other shows in Ireland – 13th, 14th March in Belfast &16th March in Dublin – before returning to the UK for their show in Nottingham on the 19th. Any disappointed Irish fans will be offered a chance to exchange their tickets for any of the other Irish shows on a first-come-first-served basis.
I think the important thing to take from all of this is that Girls Aloud are in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day and have the night off. The streets of Temple Bar may never be the same. POP BITS OUT.
Girls Aloud are starting their ‘Ten: the Greatest Hits’ tour tonight in Cheryl’s hometown of Newcastle. Long before Little Mix, the Wanted and One Direction, Girls Aloud were the biggest pop band in the country. You might recognise them now as That nice one on Strictly, That Irish one that speaks weirdly, That ginger one who’s into fashion, Cheryl Cole and That other one but they are so much more than that. Here’s five reasons why you need to care about Girls Aloud’s tour:
In 2013, we live in very fortunate times. There are tons of non-dull popstars around. It’s all too easy to forget the dark days we endured in 2004 when the charts were filled with dull pop – Atomic Kitten, Blue – or worse still, no pop at all. Girls Aloud were the exception, the shining beacon of light, making brilliant pop music when no-one else would.
Girls Aloud always put on a tremendous live show. There’s fireworks, magic shows, dance routines, costume changes and elephants on pogo sticks (OK, we made the last one up). We’ve been to all of their previous tours and each time have been wowwed by the energy the girls bring to the stage.
Just like potatoes gon’ potate, haterz gon’ hate. People wrote-off Girls Aloud when they won reality show Popstars: the Rivals, saying they’d be ‘just another girlband’ and a flash in the pan that would fade into obscurity in a matter of months. However, thanks to being consistently brilliant Girls Aloud have been around for ten years. Pay attention Perrie & co.
MP! is going to see Girls Aloud at the O2 in London next Friday but if you’re seeing them tonight then tweet us with anything we need to know.
What: Girls Aloud will be touring the UK & Ireland on their ‘Ten – The Hits’ tour
Where: Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Nottingham, Liverpool, Belfast & Dublin
When: February/March 2013
Price: £37.50-£49.50 / €44.05-€49.65
Full Details: Girls Aloud official website
Girls Aloud. Are. Back. To mark the girls’ 10 year anniversary GA have returned with new song ‘Something New’ – the best pop song since Girls Aloud last released a pop song. ‘Something New’ is taken from Nadine, Cheryl, Nicola, Sarah and Kimberley’s upcoming Greatest Hits which is set to feature 4 new songs and be in stores before Christmas. We’ve also heard from a reliable source that the girls will soon announce 2013 tour dates. The ‘Something New’ video will be on YouTube this Friday 19th October 2012.
And the song?
Well it features soaring chanted riffs over Calvin Harris style beats and is a gentle evolution from their previous sound without tearing up the rule book; which is a shame as rule-book tearing is top of the Girls Aloud CV. Though it lacks the charming lyrical turns-of-phrase of the band’s brightest moments, the song thumps, wallops and chants through 320 near-perfect seconds of girl group genius – with more memorable moments than an average pop star’s first three albums. And though it’s not their best song, it’s a fitting tribute to one of the greatest groups these shores have ever seen and despite its imperfections is a definite 5 out of 5 affair. Welcome back girls.
One person who you can definitely expect to see onstage is Wretch 32, who features on Cheryl’s next single release, ‘Screw You’. The rapper revealed all to Capital FM:
“Yeah, I think I’m popping out on some dates. That should be quite cool. It’s going to be live, man. I know she goes in with her show so I can’t wait to pop through the floor or come in through the sky!”
Blimey! That sounds like quite something. The Girls Aloud reunion tour will have to be mighty special to beat Cheryl’s spectacular.
All dates for the “A Million Lights Tour” are listed in our Pop Diary!
So, the original Sugababes have reformed, but of course they can’t call themselves Sugababes because that’s still Heidi, Jade and Amelle (except when it comes to stationery and gift wrapping, but we’ll ignore that because frankly this is making our heads hurt already). What matters is that Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan – the ice cool trio who scored early Suga-hits ‘Overload’ ‘New Year’ and ‘Run For Cover’ – are back, back BACK!
Now trading under the imaginative band name Mutya Keisha Siobhan, they’ve been secretively working on new material for the best part of a year now and we’re finally close to hearing the first fruits of their labours. Here are five things we learned from their first ever post-reformation interview with the ever-wonderful Popjustice.
The album isn’t out until 2013
Boo! But there is a new single pencilled in for November. Does this mean an X Factor performance could be on the cards? That intro-video would certainly be interesting…
They’ve been working with some interesting people
Teen production whizz MNEK, who co-wrote ‘All Fired Up’ for The Saturdays and ‘Home Run’ for Misha B, is one such interesting person. Others include ex-Blazin’ Squad members Mojam, Spice Girls wizard Biff Stannard and Girls Aloud architects Xenomania! OMG!
Some song titles ‘n’ stuff
‘Drum’ – a repetitive dance track inspired by Rihanna
‘Back in the Day’ – a TLC-esque early 90s jam
‘Too In Love’ – the first song they sang together on since the One Touch days
‘Love Me Hard’ – written with Biff and former Triple 8-er Iain James. Remember Triple 8?
Siobhan’s favourite post-One Touch Sugababes song is ‘Stronger’
She also likes ‘Freak Like Me’. The girls are open to performing songs from post-Siobhan incarnations at their gigs. We wonder what Heidi, Jade and Amelle will make of that?
They wouldn’t say no to a Girls Aloud duet
But they’re not – unsurprisingly – so keen on the idea of getting together with the current Sugababes lineup.
Overall it sounds like the MKS “project” is going pretty swimmingly so far, and the girls are determined not to repeat the mistakes that saw them fall apart the first time around. With some seriously cool producers on-board and fan excitement at fever pitch, this is bound to be one of the most interesting comebacks of the next 12 months. We do sort of hope the “other” Sugababes come back with some goodies too though, there’s plenty of room on pop’s playground after all, and a good old fashioned chart battle could be just the thing to boost record sales for both groups.
Are you on team MKS, or will Heidi and co always have your heart? Have your say in our comments section!
GMD3 on X Factor next week, Girls Aloud Greatest Hits, Parade about to be signed?, Little Mix and Stooshe’s new singles
Rumours, gossip and stuff we dreamt about last week. Welcome to the MP! Gossip Round Up starring GMD3, Girls Aloud, Stooshe, Parade and Little Mix.
Eagle-eyed MP!ers have let us know to look out for GMD3 on next week’s X Factor after seeing them in the trailer. We’ve heard, the boys – managed by The Wanted’s and The Saturdays’ old manager Jayne Collins – got 4 big YESs and have made it to the Judge’s Houses stage of the competition.
Are Girls Aloud back in the studio working on new music? YES. Are they working with long term collaborators Xenomania? YES. And, what’s this amazing new music for? Well, a loud-mouth pop star friend of MP! has told us that the Alouders are planning a Greatest Hits package featuring a few new songs. Bad news for those who were hoping for a new album from The Ginge & Co :(
In other girlgroup news… we’ve heard a couple of BIG record labels are interested in signing Parade after their free download of ‘Light Me Up’ got almost 60,000 plays on YouTube and Soundcloud. And if they’re not yet convinced, they will be after they hear the MASSIVE tune the girls recorded with Ed Drewett (the chap who wrote ‘Glad You Came’) and Tim Powell, which the girls were nice enough to play us recently. And don’t get us started on the song written to a dead person… yes, really.
Little Mix are set to top the charts later today with (proper) debut single ‘Wings’ and we’ve heard the second single is also massive. ‘Super Bass’ and ‘Rude Boy’ songwriter Ester Dean supposedly wrote the track. Wowza – the Little Mix album is starting to look very exciting. Boy’d.
After the massive never-ending success of ‘Black Heart’ have Stooshe changed their plans for their third single? We heard it was set to be the mental shout-a-long ‘Kiss Chase’ but has been replaced with the 60s stylings of ‘See Me Like This’. Who would’ve thought that the Technicolor group would subscribe to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ (pop music) school of thought?
We want your gossip, rumours and detective work. If you’ve heard something t(p)op secret and want to share it with the world, drop us an email with your rumour and any evidence you have. All gossip treated in confidence – we respect your anonymity.
Pop Stars On TV alert. Follow an eager bunch of upcoming stylists over 10 weeks in their journey to the ultimate accolade – dressing pop superstar Rihanna for her Wireless performance. Fronted by a panel of mentors personally hand-picked by Rihanna herself, Styled to Rock, will feature Lysa Cooper, who has styled some of Rihanna’s most striking and talked about outfits; British designer Henry Holland and Girls Aloud’s ginger hero Nicola Roberts. In other words, it’s set to make for some very good TV. Hit below to watch the show’s trailer.
What: Styled to Rock
When: Tuesday 14th August, 9PM
Where: Sky Living HD, TV channel