Here is another of my brand new features, where I will be writing about some of the great modern pop songwriters. And no, that doesn’t mean Chris Martin or anyone with the surname Gallagher. More like these ladies…
Karen & Shelly Poole
If you recognise those names it may be from their days as one of the coolest and best pop duos of the 90s, famed for shopping at the now extinct C&A (or “Cheap & Affordable” as I believed it was called) and some great songs including I Am, I Feel and Alisha Rules The World. Yes, in case you hadn’t worked it out by now, they were Alisha’s Attic.
In 2001 after 3 albums as Alisha’s Attic, the girls had come to the end of their contract with Mercury Records and decided to pursue other projects. They issued a statement saying, in the words of so many reality TV losers, “this won’t be the last you’ll hear from us”, and they were not wrong.
As fans of Popjustice will know, Shelly (who is married to a member of Texas) is about to launch a solo career and reviews are so far extremely positive, but she has also been spotted on the writing credits for Janet Jackson’s album track SloLove and a song called Je M’Appelle which features on Rachel Steven’s forthcoming second album.
However, the real songwriting success was Karen Poole whose writing credits have included countless excellent pop acts, including Will Young, Dannii Minogue, Lene Nystrom, Amy Studt, Freeform Five, Sugababes, Rachel Stevens, Jamelia and even 2 Kylie singles (Red Blooded Woman and Chocolate). It probably won’t surprise you that I have heard every one of the above albums and the tracks written by Karen are in all cases among my favourites. Here is an album track that she wrote for Amy Studt which had to be the best song Amy recorded and really should have been a single: