Wednesday, April 4, 2018

21ST CENTURY GIRLS-21st Century Girls (1999)


There was the British-Irish all-girl pop group called GIRLS ALOUD.....and then there was this short-lived all-girl pop group called 21ST CENTURY GIRLS who were just....LOUD!!! More on that in a moment, but while I am going with the whole 'loud' theme here, I may as well proclaim loud and clear that one the longest-standing music requests made to me some years back has finally been fulfilled! That would be the group's first and only known album, which was originally exclusively released in Japan; it feels good to be one of the presumably few proud owners of it on CD. And making me feel good is exactly what listening to these energetic eleven tracks did to me! The excitement erupts right away when the girls make a big and bold statement on the opening track that bears their own name—a rockin', power-packed, punk-spirited jam of an anthem where they sing together in cheerful unison! It had occurred to me—either before, during, or shortly afterwards—that their group name was most likely inspired by the whole Y2K/New Millennium craze that had swept the world. And another likely supposition: they wanted to keep using this hard rockin', big-and-bold anthem style to please their fans and attract listeners, as just about every track after the opener sees the girls showing out with plenty of attitude and coming at you with a raucous, in-your-face persona. "Drive" could've made for a great summery anthem with the whole carefree-ness about going different places and not letting anything stop them from taking on the whole world. "Teenage Attack" is so much fun; their chants of ' we're coming at you! ' and ' look out, you're under teenage attack ' will hook you in a heartbeat! "Do Anything You Wanna Do" may seem a bit angst-ridden, but it's all just the girls expressing their freedom and showing how out of control they are. And even them mentioning that they are gonna scream and let it all out further feeds the whole 'loud' theme. So of course they even had to make a song called "Scream And Shout". Well haven't the girls already been doing a lot of screaming and shouting? I had asked myself about four songs through the album when I peeked down at the title. Apparently not, because they employ a fast-bangin' tempo to come at you with another anthem of what they love to do best! "I Want It Now" is just pure pop joy; it's simply about everything that these girls want to have, if their greedy chants of 'gimme gimme gimme' are any telltale indication. "Record Shop" is highly entertaining on so many levels—from the high-speed rockin' tempo to their name-dropping of THE BEACH BOYS and BLONDIE and a bunch of other 70's groups in the lyrics to their nifty sampling of "Pop Music" by the quirky band that was called M. And it's definitely a case of, to quote a memorable Cyndi Lauper hit, 'girls just wanna have fun' on "We're On Holiday". Such a delight hearing them go ' we're on a holiday, hooray! ', and that is part of the reason why the song makes me think about THE GO-GO's "Vacation", another memorable 80's hit. It's really too bad they actually didn't keep performing together into the real New Millennium, but at least my ears and I can say they had some awesome hits in their abbreviated stint during the 20th century:

1. 21st Century Girls
2. Drive
3. Teenage Attack
4. All Of You
5. Do Anything You Wanna Do
6. Yesterday Morning
7. Scream And Shout
8. I Want It Now
9. Record Shop
10. Teenage Rampage
11. We're On Holiday

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