Review Summary: Some decent enough singles do not make up for the fact that this release does absolutely nothing ne.
The year was 2003, and out of nowhere came the first album by the shoehorned together group of young women from the TV program Pop Stars: The Rivals, entitled Sound Of The Underground. Drawing heavy inspiration from such dance and pop artists as The Spice Girls and Blondie, the five piece girl group released four singles to accompany the album, which helped it to make a huge impact upon the UK music charts, having peaked at number two and now sold almost four hundred thousand copies. Unlike many dance-pop artists, however, Girls Aloud were actually good and were more than enjoyable for a period of time, with their first single, the title track for the album, being an extremely listenable piece of music, achieving even more exposure due to its status as Christmas number one. However, their music was also plagued by one real weakness that kept them away from ever managing to be that one stand-out group in a genre.
In a genre overpopulated with simplistic, rubbish sounding, overproduced nonsense focused around singers without a shred of talent, Girls Aloud managed to stand out to a certain degree, creating enjoyable and catchy music that was just good fun to listen to. No Good Advice threw together a mash-up of various 90's dance influences, added in a guitar solo and some surprisingly defiant lyrics for a radio-friendly girl group, and created a decent enough radio song. The same can be said for the title track, which has a memorable enough chorus and enough vocal talent to cover up for the immaturity in the lyrics and the simplistic musicianship that does not really go anywhere.
The real problem with this album is that it does nothing original whatsoever. All this does is mimic the artists that the members of the group grew up with, only without a shred of anything fresh, and just feels like an album that was a case of a group of people going through the motions, creating some easily marketable music. The formula for the entire album is a thundering pace during the verse, a soaring chorus and then either a rebellious or insanely catchy bridge, and yet for that reason, other than the two songs highlighted, everything blends together. There is no real feeling of satisfaction gained from this album, instead feeling rushed due to the amount of time between the formation of the group and the release of the record.
The first two songs and the almost self-titled track Girls Allowed are the three stand-out tracks on this release, being worth a listen to an open-minded listener recreating perfectly the sound of a Blondie album. However, the rest of this release is just a samey, underwhelming release that does nothing more than what the song that came before and the song that came after would do, feeling like a recycled version of the artists it pays homage to.