Hey, people who love girl groups! (That’s all of you, right?) I’m Sam Lansky, and this is my column, “Pop Think,” where we’re undergoing a U.K. girl group takeover this week. (Sorry, One Direction/The Wanted — we can return to talking about you guys nonstop when I’m done.) See, three of the best girl groups from the other side of the pond are all set to reunite this year on various projects — that’s the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud and Sugababes, for those of you keeping track at home.
Although the Spice Girls were the only one of these three crossovers to carve out major Stateside success, Girls Aloud and Sugababes are also highly deserving of attention, and this girl group renaissance signals the beginning of a major pop moment. The pop charts better make room — here come the girls!
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a British girl group I didn’t like — from the Spice Girls (arguably the gold standard) and All Saints to the more recent entrants like The Saturdays and Stooshe, something about luscious lady harmonies, brisk pop production and uniformly showstopping outfits pushes all the right buttons for me (to reference Pussycat Dolls). Accordingly, it looks like 2012 is gonna be my year, with three of my all-time faves set to work on new projects. The biggest girl group re-up is the the upcoming Spice Girls musical, “Viva Forever!” which sees all five original members working on a show about “the bitter reality of fame.” Gulp. An added bonus? The girls are set to perform at the Olympics Closing Ceremony in London on Aug. 12 — a reunion of sorts, even if we won’t be getting any new tunes.
Just as exciting, though, was last week’s news that Sugababes are reuniting in their original formation under the new name Mutya Keisha Siobhan, or MKS. (You can follow them on Twitter at @MKSOfficial.) For the uninitiated, Sugababes started as an appealingly lo-fi girl group made up of three teenagers before a series of Destiny’s Child-esque lineup changes and shifting interests transformed them into a Pussycat Dolls-style megabrand.
If they deliver anything at the level of that first album (direct your attention to “Overload” or “Run for Cover” for more), let alone their respective genius solo works (Siobhán Donaghy‘s “So You Say” and Mutya Buena‘s Groove Armada collabo “Song 4 Mutya” are two of my favorite songs ever), I’ll be crying tears of joy and stuffing myself with Flake bars to celebrate. Likewise, Popjustice’s recent interview with British “X Factor” chanteuse Amelia Lily revealed that the cult girl group Girls Aloud are indeed working on new songs with their longtime production partners Xenomania. HUZZAH!
Read more about the rise of British girl groups after the jump.
So why the deluge of girl group reunions? My theory is that the success of British boy bands throughout the world and particularly in the notoriously-hard-to-crack American market has made a new space for other international acts to succeed here — after all, if One Direction and The Wanted can do it, these girl groups with years of experience should have a solid shot at it, too. In some ways, it’s a tougher sell, since the hordes of teenage girls who respond so fanatically to the boy band influx will be less inclined to unapologetically Stan for grown-ass women. But, at the same time, these girl groups are consummate professionals, performers whose poise and talent are unparalleled. If anyone can pull it off, it’s them.
Viva forever, y’all. British girl groups are back, and I could not be more excited for all of those sopranos in stilettos all over again.
Photo credit: Mutya Keisha Siobahn’s Twitter