Voyou Désœuvré

Cheryl Cole’s new song is really quite incredibly good:

It reminded me of something about pop music that occurred to me when The Saturdays’ album came out. I thought, while listening to the album, that it sounded like the Sugababes, which then struck me as odd, as there are obvious ways in which the group are more like Girls Aloud. But while their may be some stylistic similarity between Girls Aloud and The Saturdays, there’s what seems to me to be a more important difference of affect, adds some further distinctions to the concept of cold pop. Read more↴

The video for Untouchable shows Girls Aloud descending through the atmosphere producing bright contrails reminiscent of white phosphorous. When I thought, while watching the new Girls Aloud video, “I wasn’t expecting that white phosphorous imagery,” I filed it away as the sort of trivial and rather bad taste joke twitter is made for. But the more I thought about it, the more odd it seemed. Is it a kind of return of the repressed, the appearence, out of context, of the images of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that don’t appear in the media? Read more↴

The steampunk genre is all about historical discontinuity, about universes where some event happened at the wrong time or in the wrong way, the invention of computers in the 19th century, or a post-WWII British space program displacing NASA. Something similar might explain Girls Aloud; they certainly don’t sound like anything from our universe. In our world, no-one would ever make a record like “Revolution in the Head,” with its cod-Jamaican accents, hardcore bassline, dub drums, and, erm, cor anglais Read more↴

The new tATu single “220″ has apparently been causing some controversy among fans, which is pretty incomprehensible, as it’s wholly excellent. I don’t think I’ve mentioned their last single, either. I saw somewhere that they thought its video carried an anti-abortion message, which is disappointing; we may have to count them out as leaders of the cybernetic communist revolution. It’s a pretty great video, though, all giant concrete structures and soviet goth uniforms:

Watch: tATu - White Robe

I think the only thing that could make Girls Aloud better would be if they started filming their videos in Britain’s decaying industrial heritage.

In other music news, two great Alabama 3 remixes.

I wonder what the chances are that Girls Aloud will release “Control of the Knife” accompanied by a video featuring them all in braces and two-tone trousers? Probably not, really, all that high. It’s just as well I’m busy writing a paper on the welfare state, otherwise I might have accompanied this post with a photoshopped picture of Girls Aloud as Bad Manners. Instead, I’ll have to leave you with this YouTube clip:

Watch: Bad Manners performing Skinhead Girl live

That’s from 2006; Buster Bloodvessel’s lost a hell of a lot of weight, no?

There must be someone employed by Jo Whiley whose job it is to think up the worst possible misinterpretations of songs, so that unlucky pop stars get to perform them in the Live Lounge. Girls Aloud, the best pop group in the world right now, perform “With Every Heartbeat,” one of the best songs of the past year and a natural fit for GA’s style. And I don’t think it would be possible to come up with a worse version:

Watch: Girl's Aloud's depressingly bad cover of "With Every Heartbeat"