Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Mini Viva – I Wish

They both look at least five feet tall in this video, which is an improvement of sorts…


Anthony Easton: 4 points for a fantastic video.

Alex Macpherson: No amount of bright colours in the video can disguise this song’s essential beige character. This merits none of your attention whatsoever.

Keane Tzong: Practice makes perfect: “I Wish” is a direct descendant of previous Xenomania sad-disco ballads “The Loving Kind” and “Call the Shots”, true, but it puts both of its predecessors to shame. Did either of those two songs have anything as lovely as the “oh no” bits here?

Edward Okulicz: A slightly more glittery version of that Xenomania/Girls Aloud ballad template which, in the Cahill mix, channels its inner Vengaboys especially clearly — just listen to the “oh… no” hook and try not to think of “Boom Boom Boom Boom!”. But crucially, it longs that little bit more open-heartedly and accessably than “Call The Shots”, possibly because the two Mini Viva girls are more distinct to hear than any of Girls Aloud (except for Nadine). A slow-burner, but a fantastic one.

Frank Kogan: On the Cahill radio edit, our two diminutive vivants seem to be pulling themselves asunder, attempting quirky passion while the track insists on a smooth ski-resort glide. The result sounds off-kilter, good neither for gliding nor for feeling. The original mix fares even worse, forgoing the glide in favor of a slow trot.

Matt Cibula: I don’t know why anyone thought this would be a big big hit. There’s no there there.

Martin Skidmore: The singing is okay, if a little nasal and flattened on the lower notes. The music is thoroughly enjoyable, in a mostly old-fashioned way, and at times it’s irresistibly lovely too. Very good.

Ian Mathers: I was lukewarm enough about “Left My Heart in Tokyo” that I didn’t even blurb it, but this is great. We get a lot of dance music here, and I like plenty of it, but normally I can like it from in front of my computer without feeling like I need to go out and dance to it immediately. But “I Wish” had me wishing I was living somewhere where I could go out and expect to hear this one.

Alfred Soto: As I was about to allege that this nimble number steals Pet Shop Boys’ “Did You See Me Coming” outright, I remembered that Xenomania produced the damn thing. But Tennant and Lowe needn’t have worried: this post-Melanie Spice grrl vocal doesn’t challenge Patsy Kensit in the femme Europop sweepstakes. Kylie Minogue, however, may want to phone her agent… or work with Tennant-Lowe again.

10 Responses to “Mini Viva – I Wish”

  1. It might not be ‘much’ but it’s a comfortable nothing.

  2. Also “thought” this would be a hit isn’t quite right. It’s not released yet and probably will be a hit.

  3. This has nothing to do with “I Wish”, but the only vocalist of Girls Aloud whom I can reliably identify is Nicola.

  4. I can’t get five seconds into the chorus without breaking into “Come And Get Your Love.”

  5. Nadine and Nicole both have easily recognisable voices, but Girls Aloud had a really distinct collective voice, and collective persona. It’s long worn thin, but they had it. Mini Viva…no. I don’t get what the point of them is, who they are, what they’re about, why they’re popular. Between them and the Saturdays it really seems as though the personality template for UK pop acts in 2009 is Rachel Stevens.

  6. The Girls Aloud persona was lost on Out of Control in spite of some good songs. Didn’t “feel” like anything, had no character. “Long worn thin” is a bit of a stretch though, their hectic/feverish rag-tag girl gang schtick peaked on the chaotic ‘Tangled Up’.

  7. (Poor Rachel Stevens, a great album but still, destined to forever be used as the low-water mark for female British pop.)

    I agree about the Saturdays, actually, even if I enjoyed the first album in a “this is very serviceable/listenable” way. As for Mini Viva, I think the two singles are the strongest material Xenomania have come up with in a while, which is enough for me, probably. But I also kind of enjoy the disconnect between the cartoony, aimed-at-preteens marketing angle and the music they perform, which as Martin mentioned above is oddly “old-fashioned.” (“The Loving Kind” only sold to the hardcore Girls Aloud fanbase, right? So why repackage it without the Pet Shop Boys lyrics and sell it to teenagers?) I can see how this could easily be turned into a severe criticism of Mini Viva- they are kind of ciphers right now- but it makes me want to know more about them, not less.

  8. Oh yeah, the Stevens album was brilliant – really well-written, well-constructed, well-crafted songs which had enough personality in them that her lack of it didn’t matter (and she had the right sort of voice for the songcraft to shine through, too). Full of odd lyrical hooks and imagery and genuine emotional effect. The Saturdays and Mini Viva remind me more of the Rachel Stevens album tracks off her other album – ie what would happen if you gave a nondescript singer nondescript songs. The songwriting is standard at best (and often much worse, as I mentioned with the last Mini Viva single), the production is Xenomania preset…and maybe a really strong performer could deliver these somewhat generic songs but neither MV nor the Saturdays have made the case for their existence yet.

  9. I would have given this song a [6]; starting from a [10] and then knocking 4 full points off for the boring chorus.

  10. Lex, these songs sound NOTHING like the first Rachel Stevens album, most of which used guitar as their primary instrument. (Usually to no effect, except for “Fools”). The Saturdays comparison is dead-on though. I can’t warm to them at all.