So, we all collectively decided to get together and get rid of all the obvious contenders for the crown and have a shocking, impossible to call top 2! I have only one thing to say about that - well done PopJustice!! Sound Of The Underground
is certainly a great song but is it to the same quality as the godly Top 2 we now have? Nah! As it stood, Sound Of The Underground
was the only entry in this top 5 that wasn’t at least a 10 for me (I gave it a 9.7). It is undoubtedly a fantastic record but not the kind of classic we have now been left with.
At this point, I can reveal to you that once Baccara
lost the top spot, every act in the top 4 took turns at #1 so Girls Aloud
did come close to taking the crown. However they couldn’t maintain their edge over Sugababes
or The Ronettes
for long as the other two kept receiving more consistent high scores than what the likes of @ohnostalgia
were throwing Sound Of The Underground
Sound Of The Underground
is absolutely as perfect a pop record as you can find, except for one thing – it sounds soulless. Our soon-to-powerhouses Girls Aloud
were still finding their feet on this track and in parts, it shows! The message of the track is all about being transgressive and going against the grain – yet the conviction needed to sell this convincingly isn’t really there yet (years later, their rendition of the same track live does the message justice). The production however is completely flawless (despite sounding a little dated and of its time), and the girls still deliver very good vocals along with the stellar looks. Being a product of a TV casting competition, that bit isn’t too surprising.
was formed on the show Popstars: The Rivals
(season 2 of PopStars
in the UK) as the girl group counterpart to compete against the formed boy band One True Voice
for a Christmas #1 with this very track we are rating today. The girls won out in the end and Sound Of The Underground
ended up spending 4 weeks at the top of the UK Chart, getting a Platinum certification by the following March. Critics were very impressed that the song, despite being as highly manufactured as all singles made for a TV show are (see also Poison
and Show Stopper
) were to the standard it was. The inspired surf guitar over the electronic beat effect was singled out in particular as a highlight. Some even went on to credit the track as an influencer of how Britpop was shaped for the following decade.
The girls would continue to build on this with more quality tracks and commercial success over the next few singles. Their collaborations with Xenomania
are legendary and have truly produced some of the best Pop records of our lifetime (Untouchable
being the crowning jewel for me). Always willing to take a risk with their sound and inspiration, Girls Aloud
are a testament to greatness coming from the unlikeliest of places. Despite how obvious it was that they would make it far in this rate, the number they had to represent them was definitely still top tier and is a great representation of what the girls can bring to the table. Will they possibly win Part 2?
What did PopJustice think of Girls Aloud
(as if you don’t know already) around Sound Of The Underground
(8) loves the girls but has reservations about this number
- Much like Biology, I'm in the "don't think it's the greatest thing ever" category when comes to this one and I'd consider myself a stan for this group. The deal is simple: most of the song feels like its job is to setup the chorus and do nothing else. But that chorus is explosive enough to make repeat listens worth it and it always will. Unnameable
(8) pays the girls some recognition?
– Fun with a surf guitar backing, but not really any better than the boys doing the Bee Gees album track.
(9.5) thinks this is close to perfection
- I don’t mind coming after these girls in my Herman Munster shoes, or… Louis Vuitton. Even he makes mistakes sometimes. This is nearly perfect, with a stellar chorus and very decent verses that leave something to be desired. DominoDancing
(7.5) clocks the dated production despite the enjoyment
- I knooow it put Girls Aloud on the map, but just as in the Xenomania Rate I have to say - this isn't much of a song, and it's mainly carried by production flourishes that seemed fresh at that time.
(7) still finds all the ingredients inspired all these years later
- The syncopated beat on the verses and bridge really make this - and of course that Pulp-Fiction-esque bassline on the chorus. Sprockrooster
(10) calls them and he sees them
- That second chorus is bliss. Untouchable Ace
(10) takes a military stance here
- In the context of this rate I must defend their anarchy and 10 them.
(10) gave Girls Aloud full marks???
- Not my favourite Girls Aloud song, but what a debut. There's no denying that it's iconic. Let's not pretend that One True Voice's version of Sacred Trust wasn't good, but next to this? It was just so dated. It's easy to see why people thought they'd win, with boybands being as popular as they were at the time. Trouble In Paradise
(6) isn’t as generous as me with soullessness
- There’s nothing wrong with this song, but it just feels so created by committee. You know what would be good? Lyrical themes about being transgressive performed by a mainstream girl group with some surf guitar to enliven the classic pop production.
(3) performs her last villain act before the finale
- Well this is clearly a band from a casting show. The song is not bad but neither it’s good. I’m sorry but no I don’t like them. Mercifully they didn’t make it to Austria. I liked some of the German winners of such casting shows but I’m glad we get more genuine bands again these days! Spillett
(11) crowns these girls!
- (the ultimate girl group "shit, didn't see this coming" moment). Saviodxl
(9) thinks highly of this and may be shocked by this result!
- Aaaaaw this sounded so fresh when I listened to it for the first time. So manufactured, well planned, well produced pop music. The way we like it! ComeOnGloria
(10) was impressed also
- Wasn't expecting this to be so good when it was released. Still love it.
(9.6) took some time to love this but once he did…
- I’ve always been a fan of On The Metro and The Loving Kind (because of the Pet Shop Boys production) and most of Cheryls singles (Call My Name <3) but until now I never realized how amazing Sound of the Underground is, hence the high score. Kermit_The_Frog
(9) was close to being wrong about the winner hey?
- A great song though not a winner in this rate (famous last words?) Nobody expected a debut this good and they proceeded to get even better. Zar-Unity
(9) is not performing a villain act yet in the top 3
- A well put together pop song, with some really nice voices! Tech: 5 Taste: 4 = 9 points.