After the Spice Girls and S Club 7, and shortly before Pop Idol and its hugely successful decendants, Simon Fuller signed a solo female.Amy Studt was a pop singer with a little attitude. She could be somewhat considered to be the British answer to Avril Lavigne, with semi-bratty lyrics in her rock-pop. Her debut single "Just a Little Girl" was released in 2002, the same time as Avril's debut, meaning that they were probably both in gestation during the same period and Amy was therefore not a copy. However, she mysteriously dissapeared for a year before releasing her biggest hit single (and only top 10) "Misfit", and the album False Smiles. Despite several single releases, the album never took off, so it was decided that there would be a re-release. The single pushing the new version of the album was a cover of Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do", featuring Crow herself on backing vocals. It was a horrible choice, and after its relative flop in early 2004, that seemed to be it for Amy; although her official site is still under construction to this day, which hints that she may not have been dropped, at least from Fuller's 19 management.
Ladder in My Tights - If you only download one Studt song, this has to be the one. Pure genius, co-written by ex-Alicia's Attic member Karen Poole (who has also worked with Rachel Stevens and others). It encompasses the best of Amy's sound: the verses are more pop synthesizer-based, which turns into an anthemic guitar chorus, all with cheeky lyrics. Any song that features both a masked profanity andan interpolation of KC and the Sunshine Band in the same hook is an amazing triumph in my eyes. Why this was never a single will forever be one of pop's mysteries. *Extremely highly reccomended* by me.
Under the Thumb - A single off the album, kind of reggae/ska inspired, mixed in with her own sound. It kind of reminds me of "Underneath It All" by No Doubt, except angrier.
Queen A - Like I said in my last post, I was unable to get a hold of the CD single of "Misfit". Reader Simon Underwood decided to help me out, and I appreciate him greatly!! This is a really cool b-side, with electronic-inspired elements. Interestingly, it has the same basic lyrical theme of the a-side, that of stuck-up bitches in high school that look down upon girls that aren't just like them. Put Your Faith in Me - Another b-side on the "Misfit" single, also thanks to Simon Underwood. It's a really sweet and pretty ballad, but a bit of an anomaly among her other songs.
Kick Me - B-side to the "Just A Little Girl" single, where it seems as if she (and her record label) were still exploring and deciding upon a sound. It's alternately dancey and ballad-y, and different from most of the rest of her stuff.
Rose - Beautiful and ethereal. Basically a ballad, but with a unique arrangement, including Irish-inspired background flutes.
Superior Mind - Another standout album track. The lyrics are pretty good; the chorus is pretty catchy.
False Smiles - The album title track, oddly relegated to b-side status. In my opinion, that's not because of song quality - it would have fit into the CD perfectly.
Just a Little Girl - A minor radio hit in New York, although Amy never managed to have a formal American release. It's a very interesting mix of slow piano verses and rock chorus that separates it from the typical Avril clones, but that unusualness is also probably why it didn't catch on. Forget It All - A b-side to "All I Wanna Do"; a really pretty mid-tempo. Her vocals are almost operatic in this one. It's one of those songs where the title is never actually mentioned in the chorus. You're Like the Breeze - The second b-side to "All I Wanna Do", co-written by Amy and Karen Poole. Like many of her songs, it was helmed by Norwegian pop producers Murlyn, who have done a lot of good stuff (Samantha Mumba seems to come to mind, though i'm not completely sure on that). This is another song I strongly recommend - definitely album worthy, although judging by its release date it was likely recorded too late to make the cut.
To top it all off, here's the video for "All I Wanna Do", with a cute waitress motif. Despite probably ruining her music career, I honestly don't think it's that bad.