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Reviews 12/12/2003

Album Of The Week: Atomic Kitten

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by Mikey (Gillingham, Kent, UK) - Each week I preview an album which I think deserves a listen to and if it's worth to buy, I will cater for all tastes of music from R'n'B to Rock, Hip hop and Pop. At the end of the page, you will find all future album releases.

Atomic Kitten - Ladies Night
Release Date: 10 November 2003

A collection of slick, sexy and colourful new songs that jump up and down till everyone stops what they're doing and listens, Ladies Night marks the return of one of the nation's best-loved pop trios. Atomic Kitten are the only girl-band since the Spice Girls (not to mention The Supremes) to achieve simultaneous album and single number ones and Liverpool's hottest export looks likely to add to their booty collection with 'Ladies Night'. And, yep, the title track is a version of the Kool and the Gang disco staple performed with the Gang themselves.

Elsewhere, Liz adds a new direction for the girls with her outstanding self-written Someone Like Me, a haunting piano song and Never Get Over You a stunning piece of soul baring music. There are also five star contributions from Dido's team ('Nothing In My World') and Whitney and Madonna writer Billy Steinberg, the power behind the Believer track, whilst more shades of disco peep through Somebody Like You and I Won't Be There is a confident gospel stomper.

Atomic Kitten's latest album is named after the Kool & The Gang song which heads up the track listing - perhaps a pointer to the level of originality on offer here? That said, Ladies Night is easily the best track on the album, with a depth of sound (saxophone, trumpet and trombone all feature) unmatched elsewhere. The Kittens have even gone to the trouble of getting Kool, plus Gang, to take part in the '70s funk-fest.

Be With You is another good track - and another song that is not from the usual stable of Kitten's songwriters. This continues the '70s disco theme and, like Ladies Night, can be expected to feature heavily in certain nightclubs' playlists. The next track is co-written by Jenny and her DJ boyfriend, and provides a sophisticated sound while at the same time forming a bridge to the rest of album, which resorts to classic Kittens with the latest single If You Come To Me.

For the rest of the album, despite the variety of songwriters (Jenny, Tash and Liz all have a go, as does Gary Barlow and other high-profile writers), there is certain uniformity. This seems almost wholly due to the dreadful drum machine that appears on practically every number. No matter how soulfully the girls sing, you feel that the insistently chirpy beat will go on regardless to keep them in line, with all the depth of feeling of a metronome.

Which is a shame. Some of the songs, notably Don't Let Me Down (another Jenny co-write) and Don't You Know, sound like they could be really strong if they only had a live band to rise above the two-dimensional pop beat. And when they do break free, as in Liz's simple and beautiful piano ballad Someone Like Me, the song only lasts for two minutes dead. There are a clutch more songs which are, nonetheless, likely to make the pre-teen fans happy because they keep to the "usual style". These include Tash's I Won't Be There and Liz's Never Got Over You (a Christmas Number One ballad contender, perhaps?).

Overall, it seems like the girls are trying to establish their personalities and maybe their own musical tastes. This may be a pre-cursor to solo careers but, at the moment, creativity and originality is being stifled out by their puppet-masters.

1. Ladies Night
2. Be With You
3. Don't Go Breaking My Heart
4. If You Come To Me
5. Believer
6. Everything Goes Around
7. Somebody Like You
8. Nothing In The World
9. Always Be My Baby
10. I Won't Be There
11. Never Get Over You
12. Don't You Know
13. Loving You
14. Don't Let Me Down
15. Someone Like Me

Album Release Schedule

January 5
D-Side - Stronger Together

January 12
Alistair Griffin - Bring it on

January 19
Amy Studt - False Smiles

January 26
Air - Talkie Walkie
JC Chasez - Schizophrenic

February 2
Jaimeson - Think On Your Feet
Lost Prophets - Start Something

February 9
Emma - Simply Me

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