Some would say that video is the Girls' natural medium. Given their average to slightly above average singing skills, the fact that a good 40% of their popularity is the way they look together, and their excellent cutting production, surely carefully crafted music videos would be their multimedia peak?
Well...yes and no. Seeing their videos back-to-back on this DVD emphasises the girls as product. The fantasy element which is more easily transmitted during the Good Coincidence effect of coming across a Girls Aloud vid on MTV is somewhat lessened. The Girls' most powerful format still comes in the shape of their album What Will The Neighbours Say, where the lyrics say more than 100 different pouts ever could do.
The DVD Girls on Film takes its title from the cover version of the same name found on the first album Sound of the Underground. The song itself is not included here, but we do find the video versions of the all the Girls' singles as well as some TV Top-of-the-Pops type versions, and video making-ofs. The centre-piece of the DVD appears to be an MTV special called The Show, during which the girls answer questions and perform a number of their singles with backing tracks and varying degrees of live vocals.
On the subject of live vocals: the girls, as a group, can sing. Nicola (the Ringo of the band), my favourite in many ways because she's the closest to being in my league, has the worst voice. The best would have to go to blond hot singleton Sarah Harding, closely followed by the 'girl most-tipped for a solo-career' Nadine. Interestingly, despite Nadine's prominence in the band, she hardly says a word during the interviews in The Show. She just sits there looking anorexic and beautiful, the only member in a skirt - perhaps she knows that Girls Aloud's greatest enemy is their own speaking voices (remember the first time you heard Posh Spice speak?)
Despite being interesting as a social study, The Show pails in significance next to the released videos of Love Machine and the real single The Show. What can I say about these songs/videos that shouldn't have already been said by a media with its head too far up its arse to appreciate the greatest moments in pop entertainment since Can't Get You Out of My Head? Love Machine and The Show continue to be two of my favourite songs of 2004/2005. Songwriters Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper and whoever directed the videos are my heroes.
So how to summarise? You're either gonna buy this DVD or not - irrespective of what I say. You'll buy it if you're a single guy in your thirties who likes pop, or a teenage girl, or one of the bizarrely increasing number of Girls Aloud clones in their twenties. It's sad to think we may have forgotten about these Girls in a couple of years, but the light that shines most brightly burns half as long. And my oh my, these Girls' lights shine so brightly.