Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Long Hot Summer Lovin' 

Sing it from the rooftops! Nicola is ginger again!

Hooray! Woo! Etc!

Well, almost, that is. She's not gone back to her true, natural, proper ginger roots, but has now chosen a deep auburn shade for her hair colour, which is almost as good and is at least a step in the right direction.

We are, of course, talking about the new Girls Aloud single/video, Long Hot Summer, which should now be availiable from your favourite illegal download service. The girls have continued their defiant refusal to spend more than a fiver on a video, this time dressing up as mechanics and dancing around in a garage for no discernible reason other than to allow puerile types make comments along the lines of they can tighten our nuts/play with our dipstick/change our oil/crank up our jack/turn on our engine/fiddle with our spanner/investigate our toolbox/screw in our bolt/charge up our battery/touch our sparkplugs/show us their headlamps/get their hands on our bodywork/give us an MOT/getting shafted by the bill/and so on. Not that we'd be so obviously smutty, of course.

The overalls only last for the first third of the song, the girls swiftly stripping off to display some more revealing outfits. Nicola is the first to fully shed her unflattering costume to show her style and, indeed, a whole lot more in a skimpy top and hotpants. Her early disrobing does not make up for the fact that, alas, the return to something approximating her original hair colour has also heralded a return to the days when she would be lucky to sing along to the chorus, let alone get a solo line. Here her vocal performance is pretty much limited to the middle eight, and, if it wasn't for the fact that every time we sit down to write it we're distracted by visions of Nicola's thighs floating across our mind, a letter of complaint would be winging it's way from our desk to the offices of Girls Aloud's management team.

So, what of the song itself? Cheryl opens it by accusing her boyfriend of crossdressing, something which we're sure has gone down very well with Ashley Cole's teammates, suggesting that he likes it in her shoes. The chorus sounds a bit like Androdgynous Girls in a not-actually-that-much-like-it kinda way, while Nadine gets the whole of the second verse to herself, an opportunity she uses to indulge in some of the worst half-rapping seen since John Barnes was singing for England, Eng-er-land, back in 1990.

This isn't exactly an all guns blazing comeback single in the style of The Show: it's less a statement of intent and more of a "Hello, we're still here, and why not buy our new DVD while you're at it" style reminder. But it wouldn't be TiaPL if we didn't get all unneccessary over a new Girls single that wasn't a) a ballad, b) a cover or, worst of all, c) both, and this is certainly a lot better than the orignially mooted prospect of a cover of Wicked Game. Ultimately, while we'd like to see them push themsleves a little more, Girls Aloud coasting along is still worth a listen and a lot better than 99% of what's out there at the moment. This isn't a classic track, but it will slot nicely on the album inbetween the more killer tracks which we're sure will be on there. They're not daft - well, apart from Sarah - and they know that you never release your best track first, you don't want to peak too early. They've seen what happened to Phixx.

Mind you, past form indicates that the girls generally opt not to bother releasing their best tracks at all, having left both Some Kind of Miracle and Grafitti My Soul to fester as album tracks, instead of letting them get the attention they deserved. Oh well.