Okay let’s get the ugly stuff out of the way first… this is not another Girls Aloud album, but it wishes it were.
Nadine Coyle took a chance on solo success post-Girls Aloud previously but it failed spectacularly on the charts. To bring you up to speed, there was contention on how she went about the release (she signed an exclusive deal with Tesco to distribute it rather than a mainstream marketing campaign) and it backfired badly.
The album limped into the UK charts at 47. I loved it, but it felt like Nadine had sold out.
Excitingly, Nadine has returned with new music created with former Girls Aloud collaborators Xenomania in the form of her ‘Nadine’ EP.
I might be fangirling a bit here, but to work with Xenomania again is a dream come true. Responsible for many hits from the early 2000s for Girls Aloud, the Sugababes and countless other pop acts from the UK, they create tunes with insane hooks right, left and centre.
On paper, this should create automatic success but oddly, that hasn’t quite transpired here.
Lead single and first song ‘Girls On Fire’ has a booming chorus which reminds you why Nadine got a lot of the lead vocals in her previous group. But sadly, that’s where the excitement ends. The verses of the song sound unresolved, like a puzzle piece that doesn’t quite fit.
This is often a hallmark of a Xenomania tune (they used to write different hooks and find ways to connect them together to make a song) but it feels like it needed some extra time in the oven to get right. That being said, it still gets stuck in your head.
“Something In Your Bones” is a banger of a closeout to the EP and is in my view the best song on offer. That’s not to say that the other songs on this EP are terrible, but they feel like album filler rejects from the Girls Aloud ‘Tangled Up’ era; still high quality, but just not quite good enough to bring it home.
Might they have been unfinished demos that Nadine has pulled out of the archives? Perhaps… and that’s ok – it’s just not that ground-breaking.
‘September Song’ feels like a b-side to a single release and because there are some tropical house vibes – it feels like it’s chasing a trend.
The release plan for this EP is almost like déjà vu as well. She set a release date for it but then proceeded to release a song a week, so that by the release date there was literally one new song – talk about killing any anticipation or excitement!
She also left off arguably the best song she’s released as a solo artist (the incredibly bonkers ‘Go To Work’). Why her label thought this was a good idea is beyond me.
I love Girls Aloud so I’m probably pretty protective of the legacy that they left behind and my expectation is that quality music is released by these girls.
Nicola needs to release the second album sometime soon – her first was unbelievably amazing.
Cheryl seems to go about releasing new music on an annual basis and will also ensure there are some quality tunes included.
Nadine should be joining them with this high standard and deserves the success they both have had too.
I hope this EP is a taste of things to come and that they figure out the best way forward.
She needs a good marketing team behind her to ensure she gets maximum exposure and success – she is talented and deserves it.
VERDICT : 2/5.
MUST LISTEN : Something In Your Bones, Go To Work (not on this EP).