Five studio albums into their career and Girls Aloud are still pumping out dance music that is incessantly infectious and lyrically brilliant. Produced by and with songwriting involvement from their longtime partners Xenomania, Out of Control boasts a handful of spiky tricks that tease and tickle. Singles like "The Promise" and "The Loving Kind" further solidify the group as impressive pop makers, crafting enjoyable upbeat dance numbers. This time around, the group uses guitars as a lush complement to the traditional music that listeners have come to expect from Girls Aloud, and as usual, the experiments pay off for the quintet, which once again has launched an album with as much appeal and captivation as if it were the group's first release, gaining new fans with every synthesized vocal and every swooping beat. In addition -- and characteristic of genuine musical craft as opposed to processed pop music -- no two songs sound similar, although it is quite evident that every track is a genuine Girls Aloud track. Most importantly, since Girls Aloud's biggest musical rival, Sugababes, have veered off in a more mature, mellow direction, this album looks more impressive than usual, since it truly monopolizes the electric girl group sounds that the British market simply loves. The tracks jump from teen pop to melancholy breakup midtempo numbers that complement each other quite well. Among some of the more commendable numbers are the aforementioned singles, "Live in the Country," and "Untouchable," the album's most club-friendly smash. Where this album does fall short, however, is that many of the songs, though unique and exciting on first listen, become stale quickly, and pale in comparison to the album's bigger numbers, although this can be said about pretty much every Girls Aloud album. Out of Control doesn't seem quite as out of control as one might expect from a group releasing its fifth album, as it fails to do much more than any other Girls Aloud album would, which is impress listeners slightly more than the one before it. However, because their former release, Tangled Up, was such a critical success, this album doesn't quite live up to expectations -- but it doesn't necessarily not meet them, either. Overall, this release is another solid addition to the grade-A career that Girls Aloud have already had, and it serves as another excellent pop album, one of the better ones of 2008, even if it isn't necessarily the most creative in relative measures.
AllMusic Review by Matthew Chisling