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Sunday, May 06, 2007

The history of UK one hit wonders around the turn of the millenium interests me. One advantage of the death of the CD single in the States is that even the potentially floppiest pop acts got album releases, because nobody knew if they would sell otherwise. However, in the U.K it would be hit or miss whether a favorite would get an album out.

I don't know how I missed this song the first time around. During the garage/2-step dance music boom in 2000 or so, a female duo (made up of Lea and Cat - not Deeley) named Sweet Female Attitude released a single called "Flowers", which is catchy as hell. It peaked at #2 in the U.K. The Sunship remix is the one almost everyone knows and is relatively easy to find. Here is an alternate version from the album In Person (seemingly only released in Germany, and on U.S. iTunes):

Flowers (C&J Mix): This might have been the original version, produced by Cutfather and Joe, who produced breezy urban-inspired pop beats for Five, Ace of Base, and others around the late '90s. It's cute, though it might not have been as successful in this form.

From what I can read up about them, they were promoted as a "real" alternative to the skinny, glam popstars. However, that seems to work for only one single unfortunately (and the obsession with the female symbol couldn't have helped), though choosing the song "8 Days a Week" as a follow-up probably wasn't the best idea. It's not bad, but there are far better tracks on the album. In this case, the pop version is superior to the garage one that got the single release. It peaked somewhere in the 50s, and that was it for them.

"Don't Tell Me" got a promo vinyl release with a ton of garage remixes, but the album version was also done by Cutfather and Joe, though it sounds slightly more 2-step-ish than their other productions.

"Ready for Love" is a song I first heard on Pandora (BTW, help save independent internet radio that plays this type of stuff!), that led me to discover this group. It's breezy and smiley probaably would have been a hit back then. I highly recommend this. Most of the songs were written by Mike Powell, including this and "Flowers".

"Nothing to Lose" is in the same vein, except a bit more '60s inspired, I think.

"A Rose" is very Destiny's Child-like urban pop, sounding like a better Darkchild production even though it isn't. They could have ended the chorus a little better, but the rest of it works very well. It's another one of those Romeo and Juliet stories about people saying the guy isn't right for her, even though he treats her well.

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