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Tangled Up
Producer(s): Brian Higgins, Xenomania
Genre: POP
Label: Fascination/Polydor
With a lineup assembled on a U.K. talent show and a willingness to 'fess up to merely "fronting" songs for their powerhouse producers, Girls Aloud is the most artificially manufactured pop group since the Monkees. And yet the Girls are actually every bit as representative of U.K. pop culture as those rather cooler simians, the Arctic Monkeys. Now on their fourth album, they've long since ceased to be mere Svengali playthings. Only in Girls Aloud's perfectly manicured hands would the moody "Call the Shots," the sassy "Can't Speak French" and the stomping "Fling" become such kitschy, yet irresistible slices of knowing girl-group pop perfection. Time, surely, for the rest of the world to acknowledge the United Kingdom's premier pop phenomenon.—Mark Sutherland

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