Tuesday, January 10, 2006

1001 Greatest Pop Songs Of All Time - #7 - Ricochets by Holly Valance



Claire: When I sat down to do this list, I was conscious of avoiding doing all the obvious megahits far up on the list (so, as Alyson put it "we don't get to 527 and think, hmmm, Witch Doctor by Cartoons, that wasn't so bad!") but as I've said, we wanted to pay an equal tribute to all the inexplicable pop failures that are out there - I promised Y I wouldn't just spend this entire list yelling at the people reading it, but truly, in this case, I had to.

Of all the failures we'll detail, few frustrate me more than the failure of Holly Valances second album "State Of Mind", a rather fabulous album of robotic pop, to even make the top 50 of the album charts in the UK OR Australia bewilders me to this day - I conclude it must have been down to the old Lisa Scott Lee "like you or they don't" philosophy, although that doesn't explain critical review after critical review attacking Holly, without mentioning any of the songs on the album. You honestly wondered if anyone had been given a copy or had just decided on seeing the name on the album cover it was time to cut Flick #2 down a peg or two. I must admit, on reading the reviews, I thought this album must have been some kind of horrendous disgrace to the good name of Pop, but no - it was actually quite, quite amazing. But despite some fabulous songs (surely everything I hate is merely Girls Aloud All I Want with a different singer?) no one, and I mean no one (well, apart from Cameron Adams) had a kind word to say about it, just because it was by Holly Valance seemingly. And it's just that kind of thing that has inspired this list, and the space to give songs like this a rightful glowing review.

Ricochets, a song you can pick up on an album with 50000 copies still available for about 3 bucks now, is Hollys gentlest, warmest moment on an album of otherwise rather wonderful sleazy dance tracks and electro pop. Hooked around a simply gorgeous lyric ("Don't cry/it just ricochets/into another day/into another day"), it's a song that grows on you over time, getting more and more under the skin with each listen. There's no tricks to this song at all - it's not underpinned by a sample, or an electro pop trick - the beat is pretty languid, gentle and summery, apart from the mid song interlude, but it's probably Hollys fine vocals that make it special - for too long criticised as a clothes horse at the whims of audiotune, this is a song she makes her own, although in a Rachel Stevens way - no oversinging, just gentle interpretation, but with an implicit understanding of the words and their meaning. The whole package would have sounded lovely pumping out of summer radios and DJ booths alike, and should any budding "Idol" really like to improve their cred, this is the kind of ballad that twat had in mind when he tried to claim "Maybe Tonight" was an Idol ballad "more popped up and open"...

But no, sadly, this song is a lost classic, sitting idly waiting for an appreciative audience - one this list is happy to give it - and as if that wasn't frustrating enough, this was the planned 2nd single...more on the only single, I would imagine, to follow...

3 Comments:

Blogger craigyboi said...

I love that album, its so ahead of its time...

7:30 AM  
Blogger Alyson with a Y said...

I'm beginning to agree!

I was surprised, I'd read nothing but poor thoughts on the album, but now, I'm being won over!

1:29 AM  
Blogger craigyboi said...

It reminds me of confessions, theres not really a slow song, and the songs sorta lead on from one another.... Deffo one of my fave albums of the noughties - even if noone else likes it!

12:49 PM  

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