Girl Authority

Road Trip

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On their debut album, the nine members of Girl Authority stuck to singing easily recognizable songs from the past 40 years. For their follow-up, Road Trip, not only are there five pieces written for the Girls, some of the covers they choose are not from among the original artist's most famous collections (the Cyndi Lauper track "Shine," for example, which first came out in 2002). A greater attention also seems to have been paid to the appropriateness of the titles chosen -- not that there was anything horribly out-of-place on their first record, but there were some iffier moments -- even going so far as to add motivational dialogue to further the positivity of the group's message, like in the sickly sweet "The Loco-Motion" or funk-rap "Car Wash." However, some of the same problems from their debut also exist in Road Trip. Namely, there is a heavy reliance on synthesizers and drum machines, which gives an air of inauthenticity to everything Girl Authority tries to do. Still, the maturing voices of the group -- a few of the singers have now been teenagers for a few years, and it shows -- help to keep the album from going overboard in its sugariness, and tracks like "Walking on Sunshine," "We Are Family," and the opener, "Let's Get Together" (which, bizarrely enough, is a reworked edition of a previously unreleased Depeche Mode song by Vince Clarke) end up coming out really well, the over-production working to make them fun and poppy and catchy. Of course, the question of why the original versions of these songs just can't be listened to with the same effect remains, and there's no really good answer to this; perhaps the ability to recognize one's own youth in the voices of Girl Authority is what keeps records like Road Trip selling.

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