As usual on planet pop, the phrase "Follow That!" springs to mind. The that in question is
Are Freaks Electric, the top-selling fusion of Adina Howard's lyrics with Gary Numan's thumping techno tune from before techno was invented. Could any new single live up to the catchy yet dangerous world shown in the spring?
At first glance,
Round Round is a pleasant enough urban tune, owing as much to contemporary US influences as to the 60s style harmonies that have become the group's unique selling point. Then one looks a little deeper, and the whole thing starts to shine even more.
First, there's that bizarre middle eight section. The beat is happily chugging away, powering the verse and chorus and verse and chorus, when it's suddenly derailed and replaced by a section that should be acapella, even though it's not quite. This is the moment when new girl Heidi takes the mike and sings her heart out, and the harmonies are there. They will never be as good as
Run For Cover, because you just can't top perfection, but this is a darned good attempt.
Then there's the time signature. The main body of the song differs from the break. Is the middle in waltz time? That would be usual, but that would also be wrong. From what I can tell, the break is in either 5/4 or the utterly unorthodox 2/4 time. This adds to the depth of feeling, and concentrates the mind wonderfully. The majority of the song is in the somewhat more familiar 6/8 fast waltz, and heavily minor key to boot. Unorthodox time signatures are the mark of a confident songwriter. Unorthodox time signatures are also the mark of a hugely talented group, and the effortless way that the 'babes make this sound normal is a major selling point.
Oh, are there lyrics involved? Indeed there are, the chorus goes on about "spend the night on me" and "don't need no man," clearly referring to an orgasm friend who has stopped being an orgasm friend. And who has quite possibly spoiled the concept of orgasm friends for a very long time to come. Lyrically, one can file this track with such classics as
Turning Japanese and
Sugar Walls and
Oops ... Oh My. If our esteemed reader can come up with any other tracks that might fit this description, do please keep them to yourself, and don't tell the President's wife. Mrs Gore doesn't like to think about this sort of thing.
This sort of song can play over and over again, gaining a little something each time. I'm looking forward to the singular release today, followed by a few weeks of saturation airplay.
Angels With Dirty Faces follows in September.