Today’s POP RESCUE is the eponymous 1998 debut album from girl group B*Witched.
In 1998, we were already 2 years into Girl Power, courtesy of the Spice Girls, and to some degree, Eternal, and so B*Witched were no doubt Ireland’s combined version.
We were also a year into the pop brie of Steps, and so when looking at their contemporaries, B*Witched fitted right in. Even with their jumping double-denim dance routines. How they didn’t punch or kick each other out cold, i’ll never know.
Tracks worth noting on this album are singles C’est La Vie (#1, and see video below), the fantastic Blame It On The Weatherman (#1), Rev It Up, Oh Mr Postman, and Never Giving Up.
Also here are the other two of their first four singles that all became UK number ones: To You I Belong and Rollercoaster – but neither of these are as strong.
We Four Girls starts off nice and mellow, before lunging into a rocky chorus complete with a ‘we four girls are here to stay’, and then back out into a breathy vocal section. Repeat that a few times, and the track is over. This is probably fun to see performed live, but sitting amongst their singles, it’s lyrically a weaker track.
Next up is Castles In The Air which also starts off with some great synth lines, and warm vocals. After about a minute it evolves into a big ballad, complete with harmonies, and tinkling piano before dropping back. It’s delicate, minimal, and quite nice.
Freak Out starts out well, and is a tempo switch from Castles In The Air. It has what seems to be a Don Pablo’s Animals sample from Venus, but then quickly becomes a bit irritating in a Daphne and Celeste way after about 20 seconds. At a little over 2 minutes long, it’s easy to survive.
Like The Rose is a difficult song – made entirely from cheese. I couldn’t get all the way through it. Single Never Giving Up is a welcome arrival – full of up-tempo catchiness.
Final track Oh Mister Postman is a wonderful song, opening with a flurry of violins, cellos, and harps, and with a couple of hints of Take That‘s hit Back For Good in the verses. The chorus is a wonderful wash of strings, timpani, and harmonies.
Most of this album is a bit too nauseating bouncy, so I’ll be letting it go back into the wild via eBay. I think that this album was ‘of the moment’ but 16 years on, that moment has now mostly passed.
WHERE ARE B*WITCHED NOW?
Sisters Edele and Keavy, spent time as The Bodyrockers, and released a couple of singles and a really good album, which the media mostly ignored.
B*Witched then reformed via the ITV2 Big Reunion TV Show, and released a new EP titled Champagne or Guinness in April 2014.
Edele was a housemate in Celebrity Big Brother in 2014.
POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 2 / 5
1998 UK CHART POSITION: #3
POP RESCUE COST: £1.99 (from an Oxfam shop).