Girls Aloud have a bit of a cheek. Here they are, a TV reality band who make the Monkees look unmanufactured by comparison, and what do they call their first single? 'Sound of the Underground', that's what. Still, even the cynics had to admit it was a lot better than expected, an enticing blend of spiky guitars and Fatboy Slim beats topped off with an irresistibly catchy chorus. The good news is that their debut album contains plenty more where that came from - when the girls get a chance to show off their natural feistiness, they're not unlike a 21st century version of the Ronettes. The bad news is that at 15 tracks the album is far too long and the ill-advised attempt to show off their sensitive side results in some truly dismal ballads. Whether Girls Aloud have the staying power to sustain a long-term career is anyone's guess - but this will just about do for now.
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