The past three weeks have brought us new albums from two of the biggest names in UK pop this decade and the debut from [yet another] girl group fighting for your pop dollar. How'd we, as the pop consumers, fare? Let's take a look, shall we. In ascending order of quality:
 Girls Aloud - Out of Control
First off, horrible artwork. Yikes.
Second, a song written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, produced by Xenomania, and sung by Girls Aloud should be WAY more impressive than "The Loving Kind" turns out to be. Shame. [Hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come for the tenth PSB album next year.]
Third, coming off of their strongest album yet - last year's fantastic 'Tangled Up' - I was hoping for a bit more. The whole thing comes off a bit underwhelming. Bland, actually, which they shouldn't be. They've been mind blowingly amazing ["Sound of the Underground", "The Show", "Love Machine", "Close To Love", etc.], they've been painfully shit ["I'll Stand By You", "See The Day", about half of the album tracks from the first two albums], but they've rarely been dull. Shame.
Fourth...well, there's some shocking stuff here. Girls Aloud go reggae! ["Revolution in the Head".] Girls Aloud go jungle! ["Live in the Country" - though, actually, this is one of the few OMG AMAZING moments here, but it is also quite laughable.] Most of it, though, is just generic Girls Aloud. Sad. :(
 Sugababes - Catfights and Spotlights
We are in serious need of quality control for Sugababes mk III. If you don't want to be the electro princesses you once were, fine, but stop putting out shit. I hoped 'Change' was a misstep and they'd get it back on track this time, but I guess not.
That said, there are a pair of AMAZING ballads hiding in the middle of the album "Unbreakable Heart" and especially "Sunday Rain" are possibly the two greatest slowies they've ever recorded - but it is saying something when the ballads are the highlight of a Sugababes album. Again, sad. :(
 The Saturdays - Chasing Lights
A-MAZING. Nothing less than passable here - well, "Issues" would be MUCH better if the lyric was actually "can't decide if I should stab you or kiss you" instead of "slap", but what can you do? - and much of this is knock you over the head brilliant pop. Including the most "if they don't make this a single they're certifiably insane" moment of 2008, "Keep Her". Seriously, listen to this shit:
That's what the Sugababes should be putting out at this point in time, not terrible Jackson 5 knock offs. For those three minutes alone, "Chasing Lights" wins the Pop Throwdown of October 2008. Well done, ladies.