What Do You Think: Can Girls Aloud Break America?

I’ve always wondered why American success has eluded the all-female pop band Girls Aloud, one of the biggest reasons to love British music in the past ten years.

The reason: the girls didn’t want to put in the work.

Member Nadine Coyle once said, “We’re asking ourselves whether we really want to start off from scratch doing all the crap to work our way up again or are we happy at the level we’re at now – where we have a safe haven in the States where no one knows who we are or what we’re doing?”

So basically the girls could come to the U.S., act completely slaggy, and avoid the harsh paparazzi scrutiny that plagues them in the UK. Sounds sensible to me.

However, Nadine’s bandmate Cheryl Cole wants to change all that.

Cole, who moonlights as a judge on X Factor in Britain, has been rumored to be pursuing a solo career, even cozying up to Black Eyed Peas mastermind Will.i.am for a collaboration.

Was she simply making a play for Americans to accept her all on her lonesome? Or was she simply setting the stage for a belated Girls Aloud invasion on our shores?

Cheryl thinks now could be the time for the ladies to consider Stateside success. “I think any artist would like to break America,” she told OK Magazine. “If you break there, you can break anywhere. It’s a big, big deal and a lot different to us. I’d like the success of breaking in America, but we’re not the Spice Girls – we’re not musically like them, we don’t look like them.”

That’s certainly true: The Spice Girls were built on a canny but disposable gimmick: their American success back in the late ’90s was an example of smart packaging to teenyboppers. But teenyboppers are notoriously fickle.

Girls Aloud, however, make no excuses for being overtly sexual. (They were tarting it up long before Nicole Scherzinger and The Pussycat Dolls.)

And their partnership with pop producers extraordinaire Xenomania (the folks behind Cher‘s “Believe”) has yielded some of the greatest pure pop singles of the past decade. Here are my top 10, but each one is brilliant:

10. “Sound of the Underground”

9. “The Promise”

8. “No Good Advice”

7. “Call the Shots”

6. “Something Kinda Oooh”

5. “Can’t Speak French”

4. “Whole Lotta History”

3. “Love Machine”

2. “The Show”

1. “Biology”

Also: Cheryl says it’s a challenge to not be thin and beautiful: “I challenge anyone to do the ridiculous amount of exercise and dancing we do day in day out and not lose weight and tone up.”

In other news:

  • Is the UK finally on its last legs? That’s what one writer claims in today’s Times of London: “Britain’s bout of reflection on its last gasps of empire comes at a natural point in its history. The Great Recession came as a surprise and has accelerated the trend, but the rise of China, India and Brazil, and the changing ties to a declining America, have been visible for many years. As America turns to building new ties with the advancing powers of Asia and Latin America, Britain can only feel less special. The nation is in the totally predictable grip of the ennui and grumpiness that accompany the end of a political era.”
  • Sienna Miller nearly had an early morning wardrobe malfunction on Live with Regis and Kelly.(The Sun)
  • The BBC is giving you a headstart on all the new UK bands.(Telegraph)
  • P. Diddy moshed at the Arctic Monkeys concert here in NYC last night.(NME)
  • Has Lily Allen finally gotten over her Daddy Complex and roped in a man her own age?(Daily Mail)
  • Sir Paul McCartney is not retiring from performing.(NME)
  • Meanwhile, Roger Daltrey will tour North America sans The Who.(Yahoo!)
  • Did Ian Brown, He of the Not-So-Elegantly Sunken Cheekbones, bribe cops with beer during his Stone Roses days in Manchester? “When we started in 1986 very few people lived in the city center, so we used to have massive warehouse parties in Fairfield St. When the police came along and tried to stop us, we used to give them a crate of ale to keep it going.” (The Sun)
  • Former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has contributed material to the sequel/spinoff to Forgetting Sarah Marshall.(Reuters)
  • Peter Andre to Jordan: I never liked yo a** anyway.(Mirror)
  • Actress Dyan Cannon is writing a tell-all about her ex, British film icon Cary Grant.(New York Post)
  • Remember actress Neve McIntosh, who played the doctor who was schtupping Max Beesley‘s character on the hospital drama, Bodies? Well, she’s fallen on some hard times. She blames the recession for making this a “lean year” in her career, but she adds, “There’s no escaping from the fact that I am getting to that age where women don’t get cast as much. Even though there is quite a lot happening to try to change it, the fact is that once you are the wrong side of 40 you tend to drop off the face of the Earth.”(Daily Record)
  • BBC AMERICA’s upcoming comedy The Inbetweeners has already been commissioned for third season.(The Stage)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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