bad girls // m.i.a. || glory and gore // lorde || a different beat // little mix || gods & monsters // lana del rey || untouchable // sky ferreira || seven nation army // melanie martinez || black sheep // gin wigmore || something new // girls aloud || blood on my hands // danielle parente || come alive (the war of the roses) // janelle monae || meddle // little boots || help i’m alive // metric || problem // natalia kills || bottom of the river // delta rae || bad reputation // joan jett
Over the past ten years, Girls Aloud have transformed from the winners of a reality TV competition into one of the most successful girlgroups in British history. Such is their legacy that it’s almost hard to believe that the group was more or less sewn together by the questionably capable hands of Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. But whilst most TV-born acts have crashed and burned, Girls Aloud have only gone from strength to strength, and with ‘Ten’- the group’s second greatest hits collection- they’ve found the perfect way to celebrate their decade in music.
Starting with brand new single 'Something New’, the eighteen-song album tracks the Aloud’s progress in reverse, recounting the group’s five studio albums and most of the twenty consecutive top ten hits they picked up along the way. 'Something New’ sees the girls reunite with long-term collaborators Xenomania to create a rowdy female empowerment anthem, with explosive, chanting verses giving way to one of the Girls’ most melodic choruses to date. The song is the first of four new tracks to be packaged in with the release, adding a little more bang for the buck of the hungry Girls Aloud fan.
Staple hits like 'Biology’, 'Love Machine’ and 'The Show’ are all present and accounted for, with all of them sounding as fresh and exciting as they did when they were first released. More recent hits such as 2007’s 'Call The Shots’ and 2008’s 'The Promise’ are also included, and as the album ticks away through the years, the band’s evolution from unruly girls next door’ to the elegant pop sirens seen on songs like 'Untouchable’ is clear.
The album winds down with the group’s moody debut single 'Sound Of The Underground’, which still sounds as impossibly fresh and exciting when listening today, before three additional new tracks conclude the collection. 'On The Metro’, -penned with the assistance of band member Nicola Roberts- is a relentless, electronic dance number, laced with Benni Benassi style synth lines and a sing-song chorus as the girls relay their tale of love lost on the dancefloor, and closing track 'Every Now And Then’ makes for an interesting listen, particularly when it shifts mid-way through into an uplifting, europop chorus. 'Beautiful Cause You Love Me’ shifts the tempo squarely down, but the dramatic drum-beats and Lana Del Rey-style distorted bird calls make it a distinctly different, but undoubtedly captiviting addition to the Girls’ ballard repertoire
Overall, 'Ten’ is the perfect way to reintroduce the girls to a new audience after their seemingly endless three year hiatus. The four new songs give an idea of what they might sound like going forward, whilst the inclusion of the fourteen hits also highlights what made them so special in the first place. Of course, in an ideal world, we’d be getting an entire album of brand new material, but, with Cheryl’s third solo project 'A Million Lights’ also seeing a release this year, fans hungry for the Aloud should probably be thankful that we’ve got anything from them at all. With most of the members being relatively non-committal about the possibility of new music after 'Ten’, we can only hope that the four new tracks are a hint of what’s to come in the future, rather than fond farewell.