tremble clef

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Girls Aloud, "Singapore" (2006)

1. The beginning of the song, which is found on the bonus disc of The Sound Of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits, always makes me think that it's going to turn into a Frank track. Well, not any one Frank track in particular. That would be too precise for my "argument." But there's something about the groove and flow of the backing track that feels maddeningly familiar. You can at least sing "All I Ever Do" over it. It wouldn't be surprising: Xenomania have never been above recycling, whether of entire songs ("Money In My Pocket" getting passed around like a cheap whore), or just their backing tracks (and thus the rhythm track for Saint Etienne's b-side "Got A job" later pops up in Texas' "Get Down Tonight." But we forgive them, on account of their being geniuses and everything).

2. "You kiss my lips, as I try to fix your tie" is such an understatedly classic line: so precise, so mundane, and thus so utterly believeable.

3. But you can see why they dropped it from the final running order of Chemistry, for which it was first recorded: the track isn't as finished as it could be, lacking as it does a killer middle eight, and perhaps even a fuller second verse. Right now, after the first chorus, poor Kimberly and Sarah have to sing the same words, one after another ("Please means more/I see you knocking at the door..."). Maybe the repetition expresses how time stands still when he's away, etc., but it does feel a bit like their normally reliable lyricist ran out on them halfway.

4. In the song, "Singapore" represents a place far, far away. Well, sure. Hardly anyone lives there. But it's also a good place for rhyming purposes. "Now you're off to Zimbabwe" would be a bitch to follow up, wouldn't it? Oh, wait, maybe not: "So my days are filled with ennui"? Damn! I RULE ALL.

5. The key change that takes us from verse to bridge is sigh-tastic. The feel is aided and abetted by the way the Girls sing "And I..." over it, after which Cheryl hits the line "I'm watching day time TV" just right, lightly, deftly, and yet emphatically. And the cadence of the next line! "Wishing you were with me...": it tails away, and then lifts upward pitch-wise, and perfectly captures the sense of yearning.

6. So, yeah, I really like this. I like it more than any of the three new tracks on disc one of the collection, which to me border on parodic, like the Girls are beginning to follow a formula without much conviction. But this, this is slinky and heartfelt, and thus on repeat.


  • Wait, how do you pronounce "Zimbabwe"? Would you rhyme it as

    Now you're off to Zimbabwe
    Now my life is in disarray


    Now you're off to Zimbabwe
    Now I love you to a lesser degree


    By Anonymous esque, at 12:07 AM  

  • I've always said it as if it ended with "oui," which would therefore half-rhyme with "ennui." Which seems to be what M-W suggests, but maybe the Briti...I mean Madonna would say it differently, with more of a "-way" ending? What a controversy, heh.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 12:42 AM  

  • I say it as "way" (or whey!)

    I totally agree about this song, sir. In my mind it needed a nice sing-song coda of some sort. Still it's great and will end up on my GA mix.

    By Blogger xolondon, at 8:17 AM  

  • YES! The end of the song should have had an instrumental passage, over which Nicola could have hummed a few verses of "On A Little Street In Singapore"!

    By Blogger Brittle, at 9:15 PM  

  • You know I didn't even pick up on the song title until just now. In relation to...

    Which reminds me, I can't find that record store you mentioned. Didn't you say it was near the McDonald's?

    By Blogger xolondon, at 9:27 AM  

  • Oh, the song title was always going to be half the reason why I would write about the song. I spent a year preparing jokes and references that few readers would understand! ("This is a piss-poor Girls Aloud effort. 'Singapore'? More like 'Singa-bore'! Am I rite?!").

    The DC CD store is called something like CD and Game Exchange, and is on 18th Street itself, a few doors down from the Mikey D's. Unless it has closed, which is entirely possible. But if it has, you can at least walk down 18th Street (away from McD) and have a fantastic falafel at Falafel Palace.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 8:29 PM  

  • By Blogger Yaro Gabriel, at 9:06 AM  

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