Mini Viva - I Wish
Nick Lewis 13/01/2010
Like many devotees of British popular music, when I first heard Xenomania were putting together a pop group from the ground up (as opposed to just working as hired zen-like masters of pop songwriting/production) I was very excited. When I first heard Left My Heart in Tokyo I was underwhelmed but still optimistic.
I Wish, Mini Viva's 2nd single, has done little to assuage my disappointment. The girls have interesting sounding voices which is a good start, and one that most manufactured girl groups fail on and the song itself is brilliantly written as always, but I fear that Brian Higgins et al. have got a little too good at this sort of thing. The song comes across all glittery, shiny and Kylie Minogue style Ibiza chillout electro-disco, but never quite hits the heady heights that she, or even Girls Aloud manage. Something about it seems a little 'pop by numbers', from the chorus turning up within the first minute (golden rule of pop songs) to the swishy synth-pad breakdown bit two thirds of the way through.
Truth to be told, as interesting as Mini Viva's voices are, and as great as the chorus is (classic Xenomania) it's easy to imagine how much better it would sound if it were a Girls Aloud track: something is lacking that leaves it sounding like a very polished demo.
That said, it's still an excellent song as far as these things go and it's certainly very pleasant to listen to. I'd just got used to expecting a bit more from that special farmhouse in Kent.