Girls Aloud have always been the girl band that it's secretly OK to like. This is partly because many muso males have a sly hankering to get into the quintet's knickers (oh, you know it's true, boys), but mainly because they've been the purveyors of actual decent pop tracks - or whatever passes for pop these days - over the past few years. Of course, that's largely down to their songwriting and production team, Xenomania, who have written a huge portion of the Noughties' most successful chart hits; but Girls Aloud, five years on from their 'Pop Idol: The Rivals' triumph, have at least shown a longevity not common in their fickle world. Tangled Up is their fourth album, and is luckily nowhere near as boring as its cover art, but neither is it as exciting as the likes of Sound of the Underground, Biology or Jump. There's little point in dissecting the music of manufactured bands (unless it's utterly horrific), however; so suffice to say that Tangled Up is a classy, catchy and sexy slice of power-pop and one of the few albums you'll hear this Christmas that'll truly make you want to boogie. There's an abundance of '80s-flavoured radio hits here (Call the Shots, Girl Overboard and stellar single Sexy! No No No), as well as the odd semi-experimental creation (What You Crying For, an almost pop-via-drum 'n' bass number - not half as odd as it sounds). Can't Speak French is an enjoyable, silly number that winds down the semi-frenzied pace somewhat, and Damn is a sweet '50s-style pop number that yearns for accompanying fingers to click and skirts to twirl to. Tangled Up does flounder slightly in its quest to rouse you from your chair, however; Control of the Knife is a clunky, stale casualty, and closer Crocodile Tears is an uninspiring ballad that ensures this album goes out with a whimper, rather than a bang. On the whole, though, when it comes to top-notch power pop, the Girls' still got it.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Monday 17th December 2007 | Album Review
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