dance to the beat of my drum

Girl pop and I have been on the outs for a few years - after the not-so-good last (final?) Girls Aloud record, the embarrassment of the Sugababes' 'Sweet 7' and the Saturdays not being able to follow up fab debut 'Chasing Lights' with anything resembling even the lows of that record, I checked out.

Well, check back in because we have a winner. Nicola of Girls Aloud has finally premiered her debut solo single, the Diplo-produced "Beat Of My Drum". I never thought much of her in the group - though, truthfully, I also never got involved enough to be able to tell them apart - but the pre-release buzz on this has been perfect. Here we go:

If I'm going to be honest, when people go on about "M.I.A. is SO this" or "Robyn is SO that", this is what I expected to hear each and every time but never did. It's also where I had hoped Girls Aloud would have gone after 'Sound of the Underground' instead of the cartoonish-mega-pop they eventually became the masters of. (Not that this isn't cartoonish in its own way, I suppose.) Visually, the clip has the one thing that every "good" Girls Aloud video has - terrible choreography awkwardly danced by girls who look like they are using their brand new legs for the first time - so two thumbs up for that. All around, a fantastic first time out for Ms. Roberts.

Beyond this, there's a Dragonette co-write on the album which we're obviously all about, so yay.

(Of course, the new Saturdays single sounds like a Fergie outtake, so girl pop isn't entirely in the clear.)

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