Girls Aloud "Call the Shots"

Girls Aloud "Call the Shots"
The late-November release of Girls Aloud’s finest single in two years (since 2005’s "See the Day”) nearly eluded me, what with the year end wrap-up and all, but it deserves plaudits not just because North America still doesn’t seem to "get” these loud’n’proud gals, but because it’s an utter corker. How the Pussycat Dolls can sell multiple millions of their trampy, obtuse pap and the Girls still remain a foreign delight for likely hundreds of us on this continent is a closed case of criminal behaviour. This is an group that rose above reality TV assembly (the dreadful Popstars boys versus girls series of 2002) to go on and become one of Britain’s most successful domestic groups (each album has reached platinum status and they’ve achieved a record-breaking feat of 17 consecutive singles debuting in the top ten). But their label Universal clearly doesn’t see them fit for North American audiences, sadly, which is a shame considering they were never even given a chance (read: not one of their albums has seen a domestic release here).

Rumours are floating around that their career is in jeopardy - see this not-so-comforting article by the always cheeky Popjustice site - so what better time to reinforce the message that Canadians should know these ladies by first name much like we do Ginger, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Posh. From last year’s underrated and mind-bogglingly underperforming Tangled Up album (arguably their best to date, I might add), "Call the Shots” is a tour-de-force single (surprisingly, it was chosen second after the much less gratifying "Sexy! No, No, No…”) that’s a little more dramatic in tone than and not quite as immediate as the rest of their non-ballads. The ’80s obsessed dance-pop production and simple song structure is no surprise, but the temperate first impression is. The mid-tempo normality of "Call the Shots” doesn’t quite jolt you the way its predecessor or "Biology” did, but that’s its charm: as it each listen goes by the chorus’s whip-smart hook increases its influence over your brain and – poof! – it’s in there for good, and you start jonesin’ for it more and more like the common addiction commands. Even the absence of sass and the predictable subject matter in their lyrics can’t hinder the fact that this was one of the best songs of 2007 (gulp, a small oversight on the aforementioned list of mine). We shouldn’t be excited about the Spice Girls (well, who exactly is again?) when these Girls have been shouting their supremacy Aloud over the pop world for the last five years. Too bad most people weren’t given the right to listen…

Girls Aloud "Call the Shots” download