S Club 7

S Club

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In the cut-throat teen-pop supremacy stakes, the advantage of having your own television program can not be overestimated. Not only does it increase exposure, but it also allows the group to establish a vital sense of character that the likes of Steps and B*witched can only develop in a less direct fashion. Eschewing the standard songwriting teams for a variety of contributors, S CLUB 7 is certainly shot through with the same joie de vivre as the "Miami 7" show.

Managed by Simon Fuller, S Club 7 shares the ability of his former proteges the Spice Girls to funnel a range of influences into a sound that is funky rather than derivative. Whilst the two Latin-flavoured efforts lack the conviction of "Spice Up Your Life," the seven-member outfit fulfils the Janet Jackson-meets-Spector quotient adeptly with "You're My Number One." S Club 7 is similarly at home with slower numbers, on the girls-only "I Really Miss You" and the gentle, glowing "Two in a Million." The recurring "na-na" refrains and the infectious "S Club Party" confirm S CLUB 7 as the soundtrack to seven kids having fun, which makes for unmistakably great pop.

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