I’m going to quote liberally so enjoy:
Girls Aloud – British talent show pop girl group, yeah? Well, sure, but don’t get it twisted. They are, in fact, one of the best rock acts in the world right now. I can understand why so many people would make the mistake of believing otherwise – in 2005, rock more often than not denotes a slavish devotion to guitars and the tedium of tradition, with most good acts working within the genre getting by on charm and chops rather than a mad rush of pop energy and invention. Basically, Girls Aloud are a pop rock act that have made the decision NOT to be mind-numbingly boring. They have some obvious peers in contemporary pop – Sugababes, Rachel Stevens, Annie, Kelly Clarkson – but I tend to believe that they are actually most similar to The New Pornographers, at least in terms of the effect that I get from listening to their albums. As with the New Pornographers’ three LPs, Girls Aloud’s Chemistry is on full blast from start to finish, even when they make time for the ballads. The craft is seamless; every track is nearly overflowing with hooks, and every moment is executed with scary precision without ever losing the spark of humanity. The songs give me exactly what I need, but keep me on my toes, often veering from conventional song structures ever so slightly without calling unnecessary attention to craft. As with any great pop art, it has a way of scrambling critical faculties with a manic surge of thrill power, and that’s the kind of high that I wish I could have all of the time.
People criticise my love of Girls Aloud a fair amount, but that’s ok, I just smile and wave. As Matthew notes they make you want to dance in a rocking out sort of fashion, the escapism of which is attractive to me. There’s a download behind the link for the next week or so and I would encourage you to grab it.
Sidenote: if you want to read more of the ‘fluxblog aesthetic’ then check out the music forum at Barbelith. It’s still good, although I visit less often than I used to becuase y’know; work.