Iconic British girl group Girls Aloud have moved full swing into their big reunion, with lead single “Something New” making a major splash in the band’s native UK. Now, they’re continuing the charge with the second single from their upcoming greatest hits collection Ten, a track titled “Beautiful Cause You Love Me,” which they debuted earlier today (November 13) via a lyric video. The song is a change of pace for the band, who haven’t released a ballad as a single in several years — and it may not be exactly what their core fans are looking for if they’re thirsting for something, um, new.
All 22 of Girls Aloud’s singles have been produced by the critically acclaimed production house Xenomania; “Beautiful” is their first ever to feature another creative team at the helm. In this case, it’s Jim Eliot, who recently produced much of Ellie Goulding‘s last album Halcyon. The track is also a ballad, which were never Girls Aloud’s forte, and while it’s a more than serviceable effort — the lyrics, in particular, are striking and memorable — it’s slightly drearier than their typically exhilarating uptempos. The production starts off spare then surges into melodramatic territory, dragging in its final minute. Even if it’s ultimately effective, the self-embracing message of the song is nowhere near as thrilling as their more inventive concepts.
In short: “Beautiful” may not rival Girls Aloud’s best work, but it’s not a complete disappointment.