Graffiti My Soul
|"Graffiti My Soul"|
|Song by Girls Aloud from the album What Will The Neighbours Say?|
|Released||November 29, 2004|
|Genre||Pop, power pop|
|What Will The Neighbours Say? track listing|
"Graffiti My Soul" is a song by British all-female pop group Girls Aloud, taken from their second studio album What Will the Neighbours Say? (2004). Written and produced by Brian Higgins and his production team Xenomania, the track was originally written for Britney Spears. "Graffiti My Soul" includes a sample of Peplab's "It's Not the Drug."
Receiving comparisons to Madonna and The Prodigy, "Graffiti My Soul" was lauded by contemporary music critics who praised its innovation. It was expected to be the fifth and final single from What Will the Neighbours Say?, but was canceled so Girls Aloud could begin recording their third album Chemistry.
Background and composition
"Graffiti My Soul" was originally written for Britney Spears in sessions for her fourth studio album In the Zone (2003). Brian Higgins told The Observer in 2004 that Spears' record company Jive Records loved "Graffiti My Soul," but Britney's people felt that the song needed more of a chorus. Higgins said that they wanted "essentially Sound of the Underground 2." The song contains a sample of Dutch musician Peplab's 2001 track ""It's Not the Drug." According to a post on his website, Brian Higgins visited Amsterdam and asked permission to sample the main guitar riff of "It's Not the Drug" for Girls Aloud.
The track begins with Nadine Coyle delivering the line "Spiked heels and skintight jeans, I've got a fist full of love that's coming your way, baby," before introducing the guitar riff sampled from Peplab. "Graffiti My Soul" includes stuttered rapping and spoken verses. The song avoids the typical AABA form and verse-chorus form present in most contemporary pop music.
"Graffiti My Soul" was originally intended to be the fifth and final single from What Will the Neighbours Say?, coinciding with the tour What Will the Neighbours Say? Live, but it was canceled so that Girls Aloud could focus on recording their third studio album Chemistry (2005). Cheryl Cole said in January 2008 that if there was an album track she'd like to release, it would be "Graffiti My Soul". She described Britney's version as "strange," adding that it wasn't fully mixed. Cole said that Spears sang it in "that really strange voice and it freaked me out."
In 2012, Girls Aloud fans selected "Graffiti My Soul" to be one of ten songs included on the deluxe edition bonus disc of their greatest hits collection Ten. This version is a remixed version of the song. The song has been performed on two of Girls Aloud's concert tours, 2005's What Will the Neighbours Say? Live and 2007's The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour.
The Observer described "Graffiti" as a standout track on Girls Aloud's album, describing it as "a full-scale collision between Madonna, Michael Jackson and the Prodigy". The Guardian, the sister publication of The Observer, also said the song makes you question: "What if the Prodigy hadn't turned down the chance to write with Madonna?" Yahoo! Music called the song "frighteningly sharp and sassy." Bradley Stern of MuuMuse said the song "truly embodies the next-level genius of both Xenomania and the Girls Aloud machine," further stating: "Amidst raw guitar licks, blazing horns, explosive lyrical stutters and mile-a-minute rhymes, there lies a Perfect Pop Song within the chaos of “Graffiti My Soul”; a daring, multidimensional 21st century pop tune."
Credits and personnel
- Guitar: Nick Coler, Shawn Lee
- Keyboards and programming: Brian Higgins
- Mastering: Dick Beetham for 360 Mastering
- Production: Brian Higgins, Xenomania
- Programming: Brian Higgins, Tim Powell, Nick Coler
- Songwriting: Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Lisa Cowling, Peplab, Tim Powell
- Vocals: Girls Aloud
- Published by Warner/Chappell Music, Xenomania Music, Music AllStars and Last Dodo Music
- Contains sample of "It's Not the Drug" by Peplab, licensed from Proudly Recording
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- Stern, Bradley (29 December 2010). "Spike heels and skin tight jeans: An ode to "Graffiti My Soul," a perfect Xenomania production". MuuMuse. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
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