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Atomic Kitten Greatest Hits Review

Compilation. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

Their ability to pollinate with boybands, draw claws with rival pop princesses and...

Annabel Leathes 2004

Despite the promise that Atomic Kitten are just taking a temporary break, the death knell of a Greatest Hits collection would suggest otherwise.

Their five year chart reign began when the Spice Girls dipped and since then they've crystallised into a trio whose ability to swing from perky dance floor fillers to bar stool ballads has secured a fan base spanning tweenies to thirty-somethings.

In addition, their ability to pollinate with boybands, draw claws with rival pop princesses and bicker amongst themselves over hemlines and hairdos, has made them succulent tabloid fodder.

If this hits collection is to be their parting gift, then weeping fans will not be disappointed. The album features fifteen tracks from the felines, most of which are a fair representation of the Kittens' consistent chart success.

We start off with "Whole Again", their first No.1 and, in my opinion, one of their least appealing power ballads. Independent women must pick their teeth with the whimsical, lyrical mush of "Baby, you're the one, you still turn me on, you can make me whole again."Indeed, lyrics, whether they be penned by their founder, Andy McClusky, or the girls themselves, are not Atomic's strong point.Heaven knows why the mawkish "Cradle" founds its way onto the album, with its cliched sprinklings of "Two hearts beating like one against the world." Truly awful.

But Atomic Kitten found consistent success with their more perfumed prose; "You Are", "Love Doesn't Have To Hurt", "The Last Goodbye" and "It's OK" were all high achievers and naturally deserve a place on this album.However, it's the more upbeat tracks that lift the girls' unremarkable voices; listening to these songs is bound to make your night out amemorableone.

Their first release back in 1999, "Right Now" has been revamped into a shimmering dance track that sits happily alongside its disco-sisters "Ladies Night" and "Be With You". "I Want Your Love" must be the favourite of camp aerobics instructors worldwide with its exhausting interlude, "Push it, don't push it" and "See Ya" possesses the gutsy Spice Girls flavour you'd be happy for your kid sister to sing along to.

Their forgettable covers of "The Tide Is High" and "Eternal Flame" creep apologetically onto the album but it's the final song, "Someone Like Me", that really should be binned. Written by Liz McClarnon, it trembles between a lumbering piano accompaniment and the girls' palpitating vocals. Let's hope her pen runs dry before she embarks on that solo career...

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