Atomic Kitten : Right Now

Atomic Kitten : Right Now

Score

Oh, their hair is beautiful.

Pop music is a serious business these days, and not just for the Radioheads of this world. Whilst the [a]Spice Girls[/a] vainly attempt to convince us that there’s always been a sophisticated R&B element to their music, and everyone from [a]Limp Bizkit[/a] to Robbie Williams wants us to check out their pain, pop acts that can’t quite make the transition into grown up Radio 2 album artists are getting dropped in their droves.

Three cheers then for Atomic Kitten who with ‘Right Now’ have, against all odds (and oh, how it pains me to write those three little words) come up with a fizzing pop album; unashamedly fun, funky and shot through with class. Really. It’s a belter.

All the singles are here of course: the title track’s heady rush of utterly daft disco, its follow up ‘See Ya’, a giddy two and a half minute nursery rhyme, and latest release ‘Follow Me’, a surprisingly crisp and criminally overlooked acoustic shuffle.

Best of all though is third single ‘I Want Your Love’. In a moment of inspired pop lunacy it throws up the stirring theme from ‘The Big Country’, a sample not heard round our way since The KLF took their ‘Last Train To Trancentral’ and MC Tunes boldly declared his rhyme in ‘The Only Rhyme That Bites’. Some hen night hollering and electro beats get lobbed into the mix, before the whole thing finally topples over with the Kitten girls muttering like a late night chip shop Salt ‘n’ Pepa. It’s fantastic, and it’s only track four.

You’d think that might be quite enough excitement for one album, but pleasingly, instead of padding out the remaining half an hour or so with boring, boring ballads and ill-conceived cover versions, there are at least four or five other songs on ‘Right Now’ that would make great singles. Now, how often do you get to say that these days and mean it?

Of these, ‘Cradle’ twinkles prettily and brightest (just in time for Christmas!) ‘Whole Again’ is a sexy purr over what sounds, bizarrely, like Bruce Springsteen‘s ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ and even the icy Eastern mysticism (honestly, I’m not making this up) of ‘Strangers’ sounds better than it has any right to.

Atomic Kitten have scored a brilliant victory for pure pop. Now if they could only have a word with that Bryan from Westlife.

Andrew Wagstaff