Dirrrty Pop Review: Freeform Five – Strangest Things

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If you don’t know who this band are, you are seriously losing out. With tracks written by Karen Poole (Alisha’s Attic), Hannah Robinson (Xenomania) and Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol), that combination alone was enough to get me rushing to the shops and after the initial confusion of not finding it in the rock’n’pop section, a clever idea to check the dance/electronica shelf meant today I finally came home with my copy of Strangest Things.

I had already heard 3 of the songs (the singles Strangest Things and Eeeeaaooww and a track which was posted for download on Fluxblog, Electromagnetic) and loving all of them I had great expectations for the group’s debut album. I doubted that they could make a whole album as strong as the song Strangest Things, but they have managed to make a consistently catchy, interesting and utterly poptastic record.

The CD sleeve is unusually thick which I expected to be full of lyrics and detailed ‘thank you’s, but it does in fact have pictures of each of the letters from ‘Freeform Five’ artistically filled with dolls house furniture and actual dolls, ranging from a disco complete with mirrored walls and discoballs in the F to a bus shelter complete with posters and timetables in the R, alongside lyrics quoted from the CD.

As for the music itself, it is mostly fun, sexy electro-pop but tracks such as the gorgeous Slow and What Are You Waiting For, soulful Ask Me Tomorrow and Latino-sounding Shake don’t sound like the same band, but are of course just as good. Freeform Five are a band with seemingly endless talents and they deserve more success than the world could possibly hold. I want to compare them to other artists so you can get an idea if they’re something you’d like (and believe me, they are!) but there is no-one around right now quite like them. There’s a touch of a poppier Prince in several songs and some sound like a better version of JC Chasez or BT. The closest comparison in terms of the mixed boy/girl set-up of the group, variety of styles and general sound is the Scissor Sisters, although Freeform Five are more modern-sounding and actually British. All that’s left to say is that, in case you haven’t got the message already, YOU MUST BUY THIS ALBUM!

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