Tuesday, 8 January 2008

ALY and A.J.: Bullseye

Looks like it's time to invoke Larkin's Law again; the sisters Michalka may be a foolish pair in many ways - teaching evolutionary theory in schools is, according to them, "disrespectful," which makes one wonder whether teaching English in schools is, according to me, "discontinued." So it's wise to concentrate on their music. "Potential Breakup Song" presumably doesn't need any further introduction from me since most should now be familiar with its seamless mix of Del Shannon, Roy Vedas and Girls Aloud, its ingenious tripartite Autotune hooks ("Iplayedalong Iplayedalong Iplayedalong"), the fourth wall nod of needing just the one breakup song for their album and the exuberant dagger of a chorus: "YOU'RE NOT LI-VIIIIIN'!" The Insomniatic album veers a little too obediently towards Lavigneland in places but at its best - "Like Whoa," "Flattery" - it leaves Girls Aloud standing in their present tangle.

"Bullseye," though, is my favourite track; a creditable crunch of a post-rock rocker which grinds with the elegance of Elastica - note the triple-deck turn-on compliment of "You didn't ask me for my number/Wait...you didn't ask me for my number?/...'cos you've already got my number!" - and stands proudly astride its huge magnet of a chorus, even stretching out a passing pinkie to the Go-Gos in its middle eight. Since there are only two girls singing, or at any rate chanting, there isn't the unison dilemma which dogs even the better parts of Tangled Up; they have a common purpose and are easily discernible, Autotuned or not. Bubblegum of thrusting distinction with just the hint of an inverse sting: "Naturally you seem to just get me/So obviously you're pretty smart/Heheheheh...."