GIRLS ALOUD, “Every Now & Then”

Posted By Adem / November, 28, 2012 / 4 comments

Of the four new tracks on “Ten”, the latest Greatest Hits collection from Girls Aloud, none is perhaps as precious as the four-minute-plus epic Eurodance romp “Every Now and Then.” Driving the five-piece straight into classic Xenomania territory with one of their most forward-thinking productions since The Saturdays’ “All Fired Up” (and, naturally so, the exceptionally better of the two). Of course, it’s not just the stunning levels of production that clench this as a hallmark Aloud moment.

Not since “Call The Shots” have Girls Aloud really nailed this kind of song; deep, soul-wrenching heartbreak with both feet firmly placed onto the dance floor. “Untouchable” was certainly close, but of the former two mentioned singles I’d even go as far as saying that “Every Now and Then” is the stronger and better track. This sublime, bittersweet song of the heart deals with a subject we’d all be familiar with and ensures the listener embarks on a rollercoaster of emotions upon its first listen. There’s also the matter of a whopping key-change that comes into play just as you think you’ve got the song figured out, just as you think you’ve nailed how the chorus sounds. Within its first minute the track shifts into overdrive, wallops itself into a higher key, before serving the lessors with the actual chorus, which is a million times better and more satisfying than you could have ever imagined. Little inflictions, like when Nadine croakily sings “I knew it from the start” – and sounds like she’s on the verge of a mini-meltdown – to Cheryl’s gut-wrenchingly telling line “I gave you everything, I even wore your ring”, there’s very little in this complete masterpiece of a pop song that doesn’t leave me for dead, slayed beyond conceivable existence.

That’s what I’ve really, really missed about Girls Aloud. Not just the little things they bring to the proverbial table that make them the greatest pop group since ABBA, but that undeniable ability to rip you apart into a million pieces with 4 minutes of song but still remind you that, no matter how heartbreaking the situation is, you’re going to come out on top. Girls Aloud have always sung about matters from the heart but there’s been this strong, near-feminist approach to a lot of their lyrics (for the most part) over the years. “Never ever going back,” they sing in the chorus to ‘Every Now & Then’, “I said I never would again, It’s better now that we’re apart, but I still think about you every now and then.” There’s this acknowledged melancholy in not only the lyric but the way it’s sung, but not before a statement of their strength and survival is thrown in for empowerment. The chorus, lyrically, reminds me slightly of Cher’s “Strong Enough” which, thematically, follows a very similar pattern; the tears have stopped, I know I am a better person without you but I can’t help thinking about you every now and then. It’s nice we’ve still got some girls in charge who are still hell-bent on putting the boys in their place, as opposed to the current trend where a large portion of our female pop stars are poppin’ puss ‘in da club’ and whailing about guys going down on them or, even worse, singing about how their relationship with a person who beat, kicked and bit the living shit out of them is “Nobody’s Business.” No, not Girls Aloud. Because that would not only label them as hypocrites, it would also reverse the power of their name and serve as an undoing to all of the hard work they’ve constructed over the last 10 years. Girls Aloud are more than just a girl group, they’re a Girl Force.

I discovered Girls Aloud properly in 2005 through Popjustice, also one of my discoveries that year. The year was a rough one for me personally and saw me in hospital for major life-saving surgery on my lung. After the operation I was housebound for 6 months; unable to walk for 3, unable to work for 4 and unable to drive a car for the full 6 month duration. I was stuck in a house where my only solace was the world wide web. After years of straying from my pop roots (I was working as a dance music journalist for a number of years before grounding myself where I belonged; in the pop world) I started to really investigate what I’d missed over the last two years, and one of those were the mighty Aloud. The music of Girls Aloud got me through the troubles I faced out of hospital; there was this level of strength within their music I hadn’t really heard via a girl group before, and it was exactly what I needed. Plus to top it off, the songs were mind-blowingly good. There was an immediate connection not only to what was being said, but to the way it was produced. There was something this girl band had that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but knew I would no longer be able to live without.

The return of Girls Aloud onto the pop market is a comeback I’ve been in harder celebration for than that of Madonna. And the return of my favourite pop group of current times could not have come any sooner. Just when I needed a little reminder of my worth, there were Girls Aloud, thinking of me – every now and then.

“And you’re out of my heart, I swear I can’t pretend. But the heart tears apart, as I still think about you every now and then.”


Posted By Adem / May, 13, 2011 / 6 comments


Sometimes it’s hard to write about music I’ve made an incredibly personal, strong and highly emotional connection with, purely in fear of being told I’ve either shared too much, or the other fear of people telling me those very heartfelt, honest words were a fucking bore to read. This piece on Gaga’s new single, “The Edge of Glory” was – more or less – written mainly for myself to move on with all of the ideas, thoughts and sadness it has delivered, but also to convey just how powerful, important and career-defining this song really is. It does turn into a bit of a Dear Diary situation but that was really the only way I could explain the way I’ve felt listening to this song.

In the wake of a bold, anthemic political statement for a first single and a sacrilegious Combichrist-licking industrial romp for the second, Gaga’s biggest surprise in the lead up to the release of her next full length album ‘Born This Way’ calls on neither of these releases, but that of this, the third single. “The Edge of Glory” is a Champion Maker. In fact, ‘The Edge of Glory’ is at least 10 times better than ‘Bad Romance.’ Maybe even 17 times better.

“It’s too early to say that yet!” Oh rubbish it is. The first time you heard “Bad Romance” you knew it was the most amazing song ever instantly because it was so amazing. The reason why you didn’t think that immediately about “Judas” or “Born This Way” is because they are not as amazing as “Bad Romance,” and deep down you all really know it. THIS, however, takes Bad Romance to the basement, slits its throat and then leaves it discarded in a dark corner, rotting, only to be pulled out for the occasional hens party or used as a prop for the odd X-Factor performance. Which in essence means it makes “Born This Way” and “Judas” look like Jessica Mauboy singles (YEAH, IN MAUBOY’S FUCKING DREAMS, MAYBE.)

Think of the very first time you heard Girls Aloud’s “Untouchable.” It was a nice experience, wasn’t it? Well listening to “The Edge of Glory” for the first time is a bit like that feeling, but multiplied by about six billion.

As the towering five-minute-and-twenty-second opus stampedes its way out of a video game soundtrack introduction, you’re greeted with a burst of bass and light that unforgivingly hints at the emergence of a very, very big chorus. And when that chorus hits, by God it hits. Gaga rips into her chorus with more gusto, heart and honesty than she ever has on record before; her voice sounds stronger than it ever has too, there’s no showboating going on – in fact, when Gaga’s screaming about it being the end of the world, standing on the very Edge of Glory, you vehemently believe that – as this plays – it really is the end of the world, and that this song really is The Edge of Glory.

Never has a song so relentlessly ripped me apart from the inside out as quickly and effectively as The Edge of Glory. It’s the kind of song that, should it be the end of the world, were it the last song I ever really did hear, standing on that Edge of Glory, I’d be completely okay with it. In fact, I hope that the last five minutes of my life sound exactly like ‘The Edge of Glory.’ It’s the most emotive Gaga has sounded, the most sincere her lyrics have ever translated and proof that she is able to top her own heights. From the soul-destroying, violently passionate lyrics, to the sad heights she takes her voice throughout the song, to that incredible tear-jerker of a sax solo as the gut-wrenching “With you with you with you!” ad-libs swirl through the back. Hearing her gut-wrenchingly shout “I’M ON THE EDGE WITH YOU” will forever remain one of the most heartbreaking moments in pop music history. The way she sings the whole song though, there’s this undisputed power, grief and emotion we’ve never really heard from her. It’s beyond magical. Not surprisingly, the song was written after Gaga’s Grandfather passed away. Knowing that makes it all the more beautifully difficult.

The thing that makes ‘The Edge of Glory’ so different – and in turn, better – to all of her previous releases is its strong, very human connection between the artist and the listener. There’s nothing hysterical about the production, nor is it (or Gaga) trying to prove anything. In making a simple, classic pop song, Gaga has ended up with a proper, modern-day pop masterpiece. No offense, no controversy, just the greatest song of her career.

The very first time I listened to ‘The Edge of Glory’ was Tuesday morning, just after it had hit iTunes. I bought the file, hurriedly plonked it on my iPod and started driving down to the train station.

By the first chorus I knew I could not be seen in public.

I wanted to turn the car around, I wanted to call in sick at work so that I could go home and hysterically cry like a banshee at the most beautiful song I’d ever heard in my life. Here’s this woman, a pop star that I idolise and admire, playing on so many of my insecurities with words, chord-structre and saxophones. Insecurities about dying, an underlying unsatisfaction with life, passing on and doing so alone… Within five minutes Gaga had taken my entire existence and spun it upside down on its head. ‘Bad Romance’ may have made me sob due to its alarming beauty, but this was so precious it practically gave me a nervous breakdown.

I’m constantly being touched, moved – all of that ‘wussy’ shit – by pop music. But nothing has rocked my soul quite like ‘The Edge of Glory.’ Sitting at my desk all week at work, I’ve listened to virtually nothing else. Fighting the emotional outpour has become easier with each day; I know what points in the song are a trigger now and can battle through it, but generally speaking, if I’m not crying while listening to ‘The Edge of Glory,’ I’m stopping myself from doing so.

The impact of this song, for me, is huge. It made me seriously think about, were I faced with the Edge of Glory tomorrow, whether I’d be happy with my achievements, happy with my collection of ‘writing’, even the values I held. Whether I’d accomplished everything at 28 that, perhaps, 8-year-old Adem had always envisioned for his future. Perhaps what was the breaking point between myself and this song was realising that 8-year-old Adem would more than likely have a lot to say to 28-year-old Adem were they to meet, and he’d probably be a lot more unforgiving than ‘The Edge of Glory’ was.

‘The Edge of Glory’ – a song about your last moments on earth, a song about death – the end – forever, made me sit up and really look at every aspect of my life. The friends I love, the people I don’t talk to, the way I live my life, how little I blog any more, ex-boyfriend’s, people I’ve liked and loved, my Parents, the inevitable fear that my beloved Grandmother who is fighting Alzheimer’s will pass away before she’s seen her Grandson be something. This is what a fucking pop song did for me. Anybody who tells you there isn’t any merit in pop music is a complete cunt. Pop music adds so much merit to my day-to-day existence, and ‘The Edge of Glory’ took it one step further and gave me a new lease of life. As far as I’m concerned, pop music is the purest form of art of all – and ‘The Edge of Glory’ has just very much solidified that.

‘The Edge of Glory’ is everything I want from Gaga and is, perhaps, the game-changer people were hoping Judas would be. It takes pop music back to the days when large, powerful choruses were what saturated the charts. It’s the kind of pop song that takes music back to a time when the word ‘Epic’ actually meant what it’s supposed to. This is a proper, very Epic – in the original sense – landscape of music.

The Song of the Year, the Best Song on the Album without having even heard the rest, Better than Bad Romance which then makes this the Greatest Song of All Time, BLAH BLAH. And if there really IS a song better than ‘The Edge of Glory’ on Born This Way then I’m probably going to end up having a serious, fatal heart attack, seeing as I very nearly had one the first time I heard Glory.

If I ever get the chance to meet my beloved Gaga again, I will not thank her for Bad Romance or Telephone. I will not thank her for The Monster Ball, or for the Born This Way choreography. I will thank her for “The Edge of Glory”, and thank her for giving me so much. I may have been a superfan before, but now I am hers forever.

And if you think I’ve shared too much, I want you to know that I have no regrets. My name is Adem, and I was Born This Way.

Adem With An E’s Hotter 100′s… The Top 210 songs of 2010.

Posted By Adem / January, 29, 2011 / 1 comments


Without further ado and as little hoopla as possible, here are my 210 favourite songs  of 2010, in order, with limited commentary devoted to the Top 10. It was a fucked up year, but at least the music was grand. Every song in this chart were all, at some point throughout 2010, labelled as “The Song Of The Year!!!111!!!111ZOMG” by me so any qualms with where your favourites have placed; I basically say up yours because this was the hardest year to compile a list for by far.

Congratulations to Groove Armada.

The Song of the Year. Groove Armada essentially took everything you’ve ever thought about them, took every song they’d ever made prior to this moment, all of the novelty of that song about shaking bums, put all of it into a proverbial barrel and set fire to it with this track. The very point in their career that will possibly never be topped again; from the incredible melodies, the stunning chorus, the precious middle-8 and the bittersweet lyrics – a properly sublime moment that nobody else was able to match. In fact, there was no other song in 2010 that heralded the year that was quite so well. “I don’t wanna take a chance on your paper romance, anyway.”

It seemed as though people were a lot more interested in iamamiwhoami when they thought they were Christina Aguilera. Remember that? Huge headfuck. Which is a pity because the music that spawned from this curious and intriguing Swedish act proved to be some of the most refreshingly original moments of the year. The best thing about this song is how it starts off like a menacing lullaby before lunging into a completely bonkers empire of deliciously evil electro. And Jonna’s voice; oof – what a fucking track.

003. ROGUE TRADERS – America
In the beginnings of 2010, I sat with James Ash from the Rogue Traders in his car as he played me demo tracks from what was meant to be the bands fourth long player. Out of all the tracks (which I still stand by as being incredible), the one that stood out the most was “America”, a bold and sonic beaming of orchestral light that shimmered just as brightly as their magnum opus, “In Love Again.” Nothing like the aforementioned however, “America” starts off with a gorgeous string orchestra before ripping into a bass-heavy, full-throttle gutsy pop song with one of the best guitar riffs in the bands incredible history. This is such an excitingly epic moment in song that it deeply saddens me none of you have gotten to hear it for yourselves. If “Night Of The Living Drums” had’ve been released in 2010, it certainly would have been in the Top 3 of my Albums chart. James recently announced on the bands Twitter that they’d parted ways with Sony but were still very much together as a band. I hope and pray with every fiber of my bones that 2011 will be the year you all get to hear the record, a properly special album full of punchy brilliance, but more importantly, I really, really hope you all get to hear “America”, because it’s proper top shelf and out of this fucking world.

004. PATRICK WOLF – Time Of My Life
Happy without you; but thanks for the time of my life. I can’t even talk about this song really, but it’s here for a reason and it’s a pretty special song. At this point, Patrick Wolf can do no wrong in my eyes; diva tantrums and all, the man is a genius who seems to know how to pull on those heartstrings better than most.

005. ROBYN – Dancing On My Own
I’m right over here, why can’t you see me? I particularly like the bit where it sounds like Robyn’s saying “I’m not the guy you’re taking home,” even though she’s saying “girl.” Special special special. Robyn can make you cry at the discotheque harder than anybody else.

006. HURTS ft. KYLIE MINOGUE – Devotion
I don’t know when this is going to be a single, but everybody involved needs to make sure it happens soon. This is up there with Kylie’s “Confide In Me” in stature; and the best thing she’s done in years are her ad-libs in the songs mountainous closing moments. “Forgive these thoughts when I’m asleep, forgive these words I’m yet to speak; I feel so ashamed.”

007. SCISSOR SISTERS – Invisible Light
BANG. FUCK this is incredible and needs absolutely no waffle whatsoever. The best moment in their already fairly stellar discography with the years best video.

008. GABRIELLA CILMI – Love Me Coz You Want To
It was one of those years.

009. THE JEZABELS – Easy To Love
“Well I was the one who showed you the sky, but you brought it down, down to my thighs.” Enough with the constant release of EP’s guys, as great as those are, but we just want a bloody full length album next. God this song is just precious though, isn’t it? These amazing Aussie’s I covered a few years ago continue to nail it as their career progresses, particularly lyrically. “Just let me be easy to love.”

010. NICKI MINAJ ft. EMINEM – Roman’s Revenge
ANOTHER song that still isn’t a single but obviously needs to be. This is the massive cross-over hit Minaj needs in her efforts for world domination – she makes a great pop star but show everyone how much of a “bad bitch” and “a cunt” she CAN be by putting this out there, out there with a video and a proper single release because it’s basically her piece-de-resistance. Yes; it’s even better than her verse in Kanye’s “Monster.” This is what I’m hoping there’ll be more of on album number two; Angry Roman.

NUMBERS 011 – 201…

011. KELE – Tenderoni
012. T.I. ft. CHRISTINA AGUILERA – Castle Walls
013. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – Shampain
014. ROGUE TRADERS – Skyline
015. SOUNDGIRL – I’m The Fool
016. KANYE WEST ft. EVERYONE – Monster
018. ADRIAN LUX – Teenage Crime
019. FEAR OF TIGERS – Please Don’t Leave
020. SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR – Bittersweet (Freemasons Extended)

021. DELPHIC – Acolyte
022. SCISSOR SISTERS – Sex & Violence
023. TRACEY THORN – Why Does The Wind?
024. KYLIE MINOGUE – All The Lovers (DirtyHands Extended Mix #4)
025. KANYE WEST – Runaway
026. CHRISTINA AGUILERA – Monday Morning
030. NICKI MINAJ – Massive Attack

031. CHEMICAL BROTHERS – Escape Velocity
032. ROSANNA – Waterfall
033. MARK RONSON ft. BOY GEORGE – Somebody To Love Me
034. MINI VIVA – One Touch
035. AZARI & III – Into The Night
037. KE$HA – Take It Off
038. ROGUE TRADERS – Would You Raise Your Hands
039. CEE-LO – I Want You
040. NOBLESSE OBLIGE – Cracks On The Wall

041. TAKE THAT – S.O.S.
042. ARCADE FIRE – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
043. MATT VAN SCHIE – Two Love
044. NADINE COYLE – Runnin’
045. KE$HA – We R Who We R
046. KATY PERRY – Teenage Dream
047. HOT CHIP ft. BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY – I Feel Bonnie
048. KATIE MELUA – The Flood
049. KELLY ROWLAND ft. DAVID GUETTA – Commander (Extended Version)

051. PARRALOX – Miss You
052. GORILLAZ – Rhinestone Eyes
053. EXAMPLE – Kickstars
055. CASSETTE KIDS – Nothing On TV
056. SIMON CURTIS – Beat Drop
057. DIDO – Everything To Lose (Fred Falke Vocal Mix)
058. MIAMI HORROR – Moon Theory
059. DIDDY & DIRTY MONEY – Someone To Love Me
060. CHRISTINA AGUILERA – Not Myself Tonight

061. KANYE WEST ft. EVERYONE – All Of The Lights
062. ROBYN ft. ROYKSOPP – None Of Dem
063. DELPHIC – Red Lights
064. KYLIE MINOGUE – Cupid Boy
065. KYLIE MINOGUE – Heartstrings
067. SCISSOR SISTERS – Any Which Way
068. THE NATIONAL – Anyone’s Ghost
069. THE JEZABELS – Mace Spray
070. PENDULUM – ABC News Theme

071. ROBYN – Love Kills
072. KYLIE MINOGUE – Aphrodite
073. KELIS – Brave
074. ELLIE GOULDING – This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
075. ROISIN MURPHY – Momma’s Place
076. BAG RAIDERS – Castles In the Air
077. MARK RONSON – Lose It In The End
078. NICKI MINAJ – Did It On ‘Em
079. HOT CHIP – One Life Stand
080. GOLDFRAPP – Hunt

084. HEIDI MONTAG – Blackout
085. OPERATOR PLEASE – Back & Forth
086. JANELLE MONAE – Cold War
088. FEAR OF TIGERS – I Can Make The Pain Disappear
089. THE NATIONAL – Sorrow
090. NICKI MINAJ ft. DRAKE – Moment 4 Life

091. KELIS – Home
092. RIHANNA – Only Girl (In The World) [Extended Version]
093. NADINE COYLE – Put Your Hands Up
094. CHERYL COLE – Promise This
095. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – I Can Change
096. ANGUS & JULIA STONE – Big Jet Plane (Adam G Remix)
097. I BLAME COCO ft. ROBYN – Ceasar
098. M.I.A. – xxxo
099. RIHANNA – Man Down
100. JUSTIN BIEBER – Love Me

102. BOB ft. HAYLEY WILLIAMS – Airplanes
103. MILEY CYRUS – Party In The U.S.A.
104. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – Hollywood
105. DELPHIC – Clarion Call
107. ROBYN – Hang With Me
108. SCISSOR SISTERS – Fire With Fire
109. HURTS – Wonderful Life
110. BEACH HOUSE – Take Care

111. ARCADE FIRE – Empty Room
112. EMINEM ft. RIHANNA – Love The Way You Lie
113. NICKI MINAJ – Girls Fall Like Dominoes
115. SIA – Clap Your Hands
117. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – Mowgli’s Road
118. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – Obsessions
119. TAKE THAT – The Flood
120. ARCADE FIRE – Modern Fire

121. KYLIE MINOGUE – Get Outta My Way
122. SCISSOR SISTERS – Something Like This
123. KANYE WEST – Lost In The World
125. FAITHLESS – Sun To Me
126. CHEMICAL BROTHERS – Another World
128. SUNDAY GIRL – Four Floors
129. NOBLESSE OBLIGE – The Great Electrifier
130. KE$HA – Cannibal

131. THE NATIONAL – Terrible Love
132. ROBYN – Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do
133. TRACEY THORN – Long White Dress
134. KELIS – Acapella
135. NICKI MINAJ – I’m The Best
136. SCISSOR SISTERS – Running Out
137. KYLIE MINOGUE – Closer
138. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS – I Am Not A Robot
139. ARCADE FIRE – Ready To Start
140. HURTS – Stay

141. KE$HA – Grow A Pear
143. GROOVE ARMADA – I Won’t Kneel
144. HOT CHIP – I Feel Better
145. KELIS – Intro
147. ROGUE TRADERS – If You Wanna Taste It
148. KATY PERRY – Firework
149. CRYSTAL CASTLES – Vietnam
150. GOLDFRAPP – Dreaming

151. OPERATOR PLEASE – Like Magic
152. WE ARE THE WORLD – Clay Stones
154. HEIDI MONTAG – Twisted
155. CRYSTAL CASTLES – Year Of Silence
156. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – One Touch
157. ELLIE GOULDING – Guns & Horses
158. ELLIE GOULDING – Under The Sheets
159. MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS – This New Technology
160. KELE – Everything You Wanted

161. PARRALOX – I Sing The Body Electric
162. MARK RONSON – Bang Bang Bang
163. KELIS – Song For The Baby
164. CHROMEO – Hot Mess
165. JANELLE MONAE – Locked Inside
166. SIA – Bring The Night
167. DIDDY & DIRTY MONEY – Strobe Lights
169. BAG RAIDERS – Snake Charmer
170. INFERNAL – Alone, Together

171. DAVID GUETTA ft. RIHANNA – Who’s That Chick
172. NICKI MINAJ ft. WILL.I.AM – Check It Out
173. KATY PERRY ft. SNOOP – California Gurls
174. BAG RAIDERS – Sunlight
175. ALI LOVE – Love In Darkness
176. STARSHELL – SupaLuva
177. JASON DERULO – Ridin’ Solo
178. KANYE WEST ft. NICKI MINAJ – Dark Fantasy
179. KYLIE MINOGUE – Illusion
180. KANYE WEST – Power

181. FAKE BLOOD – I Think I Like It
182. WILLOW SMITH – Whip My Hair
183. THE JEZABELS – Hurt Me
184. KATY PERRY – Circle The Drain
185. FLORRIE – Left Too Late
186. SCISSOR SISTERS – Skin Tight
187. TAME IMPALA – I Don’t Really Mind
189. CHROMEO – Night By Night
190. SIMON CURTIS – Don’t Wanna Be Alone

191. JANELLE MONAE – Sir Greendown
192. FAITHLESS – Love Is My Condition
193. KYLIE MINOGUE – Put Your Hands Up
194. ROGUE TRADERS – I Don’t Think I Love You
195. BAG RAIDERS – Always
196. DUCK SAUCE – Barbra Streisand
197. MATT VAN SCHIE – Saturday Night
199. TRACEY THORN – Come On Home To Me
200. KELIS – 4th Of July

201. ELLIE GOULDING – Lights
202. MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS – Lara Versus The…
203. HEIDI MONTAG – Superficial
204. WASHINGTON – Sunday Best
206. SADE – Soldier Of Love
209. TAKE THAT – Kidz
210. JANELLE MONAE – Tightrope

This is happening right now.

Posted By Adem / December, 15, 2009 / 7 comments


This is tough.