Tuesday, 8 December 2009

23: Mis-Teeq - Scandalous

Before she became the subject of national controversy for having the temerity to try and replace Arlene Phillips as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing (Arlene Who?), even before her solo career, Miss Alesha Dixon was a member (or more accurately, the face) of Mis-Teeq.

UK garage was approaching the end of its sojourn at the top of the charts when the London trio released their debut album 'Licking On Both Sides'. Nevertheless, the album reached #3 in the charts, selling over 600,000 copies and producing five singles, all of which cracked the Top 10.

By 2003 however, UK garage was well and truly dead as a genre. Moreover, the debut album had totally failed to sell outside of the UK. In the intervening years, a new breed of girl groups (Girls Aloud, Sugababes) had taken over. A reinvention was required. Stargate, the Norwegian producers who had been successful working with Atomic Kitten, S Club 7 and Blue, stepped up to the plate, and delivered 'Scandalous'. It was Mis-Teeq's finest hour.

I like the Allmusic description of the song "with its bubbling acidic basslines and wailing sirens". When you first heard Alesha's rapped bridge, you knew which Mis-Teeq member was most likely to go on to achieve solo success. For a while that autumn, 'so-so-so Scandalous' was everywhere. And the song achieved its aim, charting highly across the globe, including, importantly, decent sales in the US. It was straightforward pop, tailored to an American audience, but mostly, full marks go to the producers for a fine example of the art of creating an instant pop classic.

No comments:

Post a Comment