#TBT: Girls Aloud – “Girl Overboard” (2007)


Welcome back to #ThrowbackThursday!

Each week BreatheHeavy takes you into the darkest depths of our iTunes to honor some of the most unappreciated deep-cuts from your favorite pop acts. This week’s selection is an album cut from British supergroup Girls Aloud and their 2007 fourth studio album, ‘Tangled Up’.

For ten years after they were formed on reality TV show Popstars: The Rivals, Girls Aloud tore up the UK charts, produced some of the best pop music of the noughties and stole the hearts of their homeland. Despite never making a meaningful impact on the charts stateside, Girls Aloud influenced a generation of music and firmly established themselves as one of the most reliable hit makers of their time, thanks to production gods Xenomania.

It stands to reason, therefore, that the girls have more than a couple of hidden gems tucked away in their discography. From ‘What Will The Neighbours Say?’ cut “Graffiti My Soul” (which, fun fact, was first offered to Britney Spears for her 2003 effort, ‘In The Zone’) to outstanding b-side “Memory Of You”, some of Girls Aloud’s best material is in their deep cuts, but no track better exemplifies this than “Girl Overboard”.

Lifted from arguably their strongest LP, “Girl Overboard” is a track which represents everything Girls Aloud could pull off that no other pop act has managed convincingly since. Featuring their signature insane lyrical style, some extremely forward thinking production and a far more mature tone than any of their previous work, “Girl Overboard” was symptomatic of Girls Aloud’s continued evolution. Indeed, the song was easily one of the most successful endeavours from ‘Tangled Up’ and more than deserved a slot as the fourth single to be released from the collection.

Interestingly, the song remained unreleased. At this point, Girls Aloud had an undefeated record on the UK charts, scoring 18 consecutive top 10 hits – an accolade which no one had achieved before or matched since. As impressive as their feat was, it led team Aloud into a dangerous state of caution. Rather than prolonging album campaigns to release as wide a variety of singles as they could, the girls began to err on the safe side and once a track reached the lower parts of the top 10 (third ‘Tangled Up’ single “I Can’t Speak French” only hit #9) they stopped releasing any more material from their current studio set.

We were blessed with a performance on the “Love Machine” sirens’ Tangled Up Tour, which boasted some predictably impressive and heavily accented vocals from Nadine, excellent riffing from Sarah and a slightly dubious dance-break.

All things considered, “Girl Overboard” still remains one of the best cuts from Girls Aloud’s discography and the melancholy self-destruction anthem was a turning point for the band, one that facilitated the sonic diversification on their final studio album, ‘Out Of Control’.

The fact that Girls Aloud were never a global phenomenon is slightly baffling, but for those who haven’t delved into their outstanding back-catalogue, there’s no better place to start than ‘Tangled Up’ and you’d be hard pressed to find a track as good as “Girl Overboard” for your first taste of the British sensation that was Girls Aloud.

Unfortunately, the girls officially split in a not altogether unanimous fashion following their tenth anniversary reunion tour, so we’re left perpetually waiting for a girl band with as much character and promise as these five northern lasses to step up and take their place (Little Mix need not apply).

What’s your favorite Girls Aloud song?