Rachel Stevens — “Some Girls”

Released: 7.13.04

Peak: Did not chart

Because the British speak an antiquated variant of American and suck up to our presidents, you might mistake them for kindred spirits. But they are an inscrutable race, their politics unfathomable (imagine a world where Nancy Pelosi was our highest ranking elected official and Harry Reid was like a Viscount or something) and their pop charts even more so, clogged with confectionary dollies as indistinguishable to us as our country hat-acts must be to the Brits.

Rachel Stevens had been one such gal, breaking into the biz as a member of Simon Fuller’s S Club 7 (sort of the Bow Wow Wow to the Spice Girls’ Sex Pistols). As a veteran of the sleazy production line of megapop, then, she was the ideal singer to impersonate a girl out to sleep her way to the top of the pops and, in the process, learning just how unenforceable an oral contract can be. The travails of a good-hearted, air-headed starfuck diluting the taste of semen with champagne might sound like something only Katie Roiphe could love. But “Some Girls” shows that bad sex can indeed be a good joke, if the screwed over party insists, especially with bootleg/ mash-up pioneer Richard X playing off Stevens’ ingénue naivete with cold Fairlight and clubfooted glam-pop beat.

“Some Girls” also seems to illustrate differing U.S. and U.K. cultural preferences wrt pop stars. An American broad put in Stevens position would get pissed, and rightly so–I can’t hear Rihanna taking this shit. But Stevens just weakly protests “You made a promise.” And fittingly, an anecdote surrounding the song’s creation further illustrates the girl-eat-girl nature of British pop: Geri Halliwell went all Sean Young when she was passed over for “Some Girls,” locking herself in a car and writing Richard X a love song. Jeez. Maybe I shouldn’t even bother trying to figure out what Girls Aloud were all about.

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