Thursday, May 24, 2007

Come with me, it doesn't matter who you are

I was surprised to open my mailbox today and find a package from Germany inside--I didn't remember ordering anything from Germany lately! As it turns out, it actually contained a number of South African CDs I'd ordered about a month ago, so expect to finally see my thoughts on that Mandoza and Danny K collaboration soon. For now, though, I'm thrilled to finally have my hands on the NKD album--I'd barely been able to contain myself to buying just a couple of songs before, but I knew I wanted the whole album, so I decided to actually order a physical copy. It's nice coincidental timing, too, given Pinkie's excellent tracing of the history of one of their songs over at A Kind Of Love In--the life of "Poptrash," from written by ex-Bardot member Katie Underwood to its reincarnations on the NKD album and by a Serbian singer, is fascinating. I know I've written about "What I Believe" before, and I still really like that, but since you can hear that song on YouTube, here's another song instead.

A few more prefacing remarks, though: I am really impressed with the quality of the songs on the album. South Africa has some great music, but a lot of the straight-up pop comes from Afrikaans language groups and is made up of cover songs. This album doesn't manage to avoid covers entirely--there's a cover of Transvision Vamp's "I Want Your Love" (and I still feel like they are more to these songs' stories than I know, perhaps even some more covers, so please let me know if you know any more). If you like girl groups that are working the electro-poppy vibe, you'll definitely find things to enjoy on this album.

Another reason I wanted an actual physical copy of the album was to find out who wrote the songs on it. I would love to know what went on behind the scenes in the making of this album--how did it come about? How did they find out about these songs? Were any of the songs written for them or were they pre-existing? It will probably not surprise pop fans at all to learn that several of the songs come from Swedish writers. The song I'm posting, for example, has writers who also were involved in the Poodles' last Melodifestivalen entry and apparently are usually pretty rock--but don't hold that against it, because it's thoroughly pop. "What's That Noise" and "Whenever Love Comes Around" are written by the same people who created Andreas Lundstedt's "Lovegun." There are also some American and South African writers and, as mentioned before, at least one Australian one. I haven't had time to check everything out yet, but I'm planning on it.

Anyhow, if you like your girl bands who aren't afraid to mix a little electro into their pop occasionally but not always, I recommend checking them out--I'm not promising you'll love every song on the album, but I really, really like some of the songs on it. They may not be as revolutionary as Girls Aloud are credited to be, but I have a feeling I'll be championing them for a while.

Shooting Star--handclaps! Yes! The song opens with those as well as a guitar riff and the vocal part of the chorus, but we soon get into the somewhat more electro-influenced parts of the song. Given that the chorus is neither very fast nor made up of rapidfire words, it's not a song that feels very speedy--you're not going to get the insistent "you-must-dance" feel of something like Girls Aloud's "Something Kinda Oooh," but it's very catchy and very singalongable. It'd also be pretty suitable for some nice popstar pointing and gesturing.

To buy NKD's debut album, What's That Noise (not to be confused with Part Six's What's That Sound), go here (physical) or here (digital). If you want to go the digital route and just pick up their best songs, at first listen I'd say you should get "What's That Noise" (video here, useful mainly for hearing the song, not watching) "What I Believe" (video here) "Snakebite," "Shooting Star," "Cannonball," "Forget Forgetting Me," and maybe "Poptrash."

(I'm still upset about them losing out on that SAMA, by the way.)

Next up: maybe that Mexican duo.


Robpop said...

This is why i love this place! Its not as great as the Shine4 album!!!

Robpop said...

Oh and some of the songs were written by the guy behind Flying the flag

Adem IAR said...

Transvision Vamp? That's incredibly hot, I'm keen on hearing just about anyone cover that song.

The live Rogue Traders version is obviously a bit special though, kind of like it had been written with Natalie covering it years later in mind.

PinkieDust said...

Bobbypop is sending me this album (CD-r form of course) But I ain't begging. I had bits and parts of it though ;-) Quicksand is very hot isnt it?

I can't wait for it to arrive in the post.

Btw, love the italian boy(he is italian-in my books). Will answer regarding him a bit more later!

PinkieDust said...

Oh, and thanks for the lovely shout-out!!! Bloggerkisses(and perhaps a snog) right back to you.

Paul said...

ooo this and the excellent girl groups return post over at DSTP is all very exciting, n'est pas. I will have more than enough to put on my credit card very shortly. Hurrah! Nice snooping Veronica Mars :)

aleera said...

Hi Poster Girl!!!!
I loved "Shooting Star" ^^
Come to Poptastic soon, I'm preparing a huge update for the Japanese Pop Singers =]

Poster Girl said...

Oh, I meant to mention that, after reading it on DSTP! Oops--thanks for the reminder :)

I could send it to you! But...well, it's not exactly a brilliant cover. I bet it fits the Rogue Traders perfectly, though!

Pinkie, how did I leave "Quicksand" off the list? It's one of the album's best songs! I thought of you when I mentioned the Italian thing--count him either way, really ;)

I love the girl groups return post over at DSTP! Reading blogs is so expensive nowadays...

Aleera, I'm glad you like it! :) I know pretty much nothing about Japanese pop, so I'll be looking forward to that!