64. ‘Biology’ by Girls Aloud (2006)

From left to right: Pete Burns; Sour-Face; Racist; Porn Star; and The Unintelligible Irish One.

Girls Aloud. Where to start, eh? I mean, in many ways, they’re fantastic. And yet, in an equal number of ways, you want most of them to just cock the fuck off. (Not Sarah Harding, because she’s clearly one of the most amazing women of the 21st Century). I’m not entirely sure as to how Girls Aloud managed to luck into being the main vessel for the most interesting and innovative pop songwriting/production team of recent years (Xenomania), but then I have to consider that, when I listen to Shangri-Las records, I never even bother to wonder about such things at all.

However it has come to be, Girls Aloud do currently enjoy a very interesting position in the media and the music press. They’re obviously kitted out for tabloid interest – well, mostly just Cheryl… and occasionally Sarah, when her alcoholism becomes too public… and very occasionally Nicola when she calls the Prime Minister a ‘toad’ or something. (I exclude Nadine because, let’s face it, no one actually gives a shit whether she’s shagging that big-pecced guy from Desperate Housewives or not, not least because its impossible to decipher anything she ever says). But as well as being tabloid fodder, they’ve gained a lot of stuffy-critic-approved CREDIBILITY. And, as such, now appear to be national treasures.

I remain skeptical. If only because Girls Aloud have managed to generate more hype than they have good songs.

Having said that, though, Biology remains a triumph. It’s just very odd. And incredibly daring – I can’t think of another pop song this decade that shifted gears with such confident precision, yet retained such a charming, slapdash facade, as though it had all been miraculously cobbled together in 15 minutes (cleverly, the out-of-sync dancing in the video maintains this sense of ramshackle fun).

For these reasons, and more, Biology is a great example of a pop song that is happy and confident with it’s own musical or structural merits. It knows that it’s breaking the mould, but it doesn’t demand that people take notice. Unfortunately, it DID make people take notice, and ever since Girls Aloud as a pop-thing have got increasingly complacent and assured in their own vanguard brilliance. (AKA: Cheryl and Nadine are going to fuck it up for everyone else.)

Bonus points: I neglected to mention Pete Burns/Kimberley earlier re: tabloid interest. But that’s largely because there. is. no. interest. Rest assured, she’s actually my second favourite member of the band, after Sarah. Chuck Cheryl in on backing vocals (just to piss her off) and ditch the other two, and you may have my second favourite hypothetical Turbo-Ronettes of the century.


One Response to “64. ‘Biology’ by Girls Aloud (2006)”

  1. I never got the whole Girls Aloud thing but the sheer awfulness of the dancing in this vid is priceless. The continual looking at their own feet and the seeming inability to mime and move at the same time is a treat.

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