Something About Us
|"Something About Us"|
|Single by No Angels|
|from the album Now ... Us!|
|Released||May 6, 2002|
|Format||CD single, digital download|
|Recorded||2002, Park Studios;
(Tutzing, Lake Starnberg)
|Genre||Pop, dance-pop, R&B|
|Songwriter(s)||Vanessa Petruo, Thorsten Brötzmann, Alexander Geringas|
|Producer(s)||Thorsten Brötzmann; Jeo (co-producer)|
|No Angels singles chronology|
"Something About Us" is a song by all-female German pop band No Angels. It was chiefly written by band member Vanessa Petruo along with frequent collaborator Thorsten Brötzmann and Alexander Geringas for the group's second studio album Now... Us! (2002), and created as a response to what the band felt was intense and sometimes unfair and inaccurate media criticism at the time, predominantly resulting from the clichés and prejudices generally associated with their manufactured band image. Produced by Brötzmann and co-producer Jeo, the uptempo track incorporates elements of both the contemporary R&B and dance-pop genre as well as Latin-pop and church music during the ironical bridge.
Released as the album's leading single on May 6, 2002 in German-speaking Europe, the record achieved major success by becoming the group's third non-consecutive number-one hit in Austria and Germany within a period of fifteen months. In addition, it reached number three on Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart and number eleven in Switzerland, eventually going platinum. The record was generally well received by contemporary critics, who acclaimed the band for the production and inclusion of self-written material, and was nominated for both a 2002 Top of the Pops Awards and the 2003 ECHO Award for Best National Single — Rock/Pop.
The music video for the song was directed by Marcus Sternberg, and won the 2003 ECHO Award in the category Videoclip National. Inspired by the media-critical subtext of the lyrics, the clip features the quintet as printers of the fictional tabloid newspaper called Daily Express, each of them facing rumored page-one catchlines such as alleged bisexuality, incest, and physical aggression. "Something About Us" was performed on several television and award show ceremonies, such as Die Harald Schmidt Show, The Dome and the 11th ECHO Awards.
Background and release
"Something About Us" is one out of five self-penned contributions to the Now... Us! album. Vanessa Petruo, songwriter Alexander Geringas, and producer Brötzmann worked on the track during the album's finishing process in the Park Studios in Tutzing, Bavaria. Incorporating autobiographical features, it was inspired by Petruo's experiences with the media the year before. "I recalled the past year, the good and the bad times, and I built my own personal résumé," she said about the song's writing process the following year. "I was thinking about the people who never have believed in us and just don't accept that we are true musicians und see ourselves as artists [...] I just wanted to say: I see those prejudices and sometimes they hurt but generally we're laughing [them away]. That's the essence of the song!"
While the band regarded the song an early candidate to become the album's lead single in hopes of breaking away from the stereotyping Europop widely associated with the group through previous singles, the group's record company Cheyenne Records declared the song too risky for the charts. Instead the label originally intended album cut "2 Get Over U," a duet with UK popstars Hear'Say, as the band's next single with a release around Christmas 2001. However, due to Hear'Say's limited fame in Germany Polydor Records and Cheyenne decided to exclude the band's vocals from the song and moved it back to a spring 2002 launch to enable the No Angels additional work on their second longplayer. Although the No Angels premiered the song on The Dome 21 in Stuttgart on March 1, 2002 and a release date was set on March 18, 2002, "2 Get Over You" was eventually shelved in favour of the self-written "Something About Us."
Release and reception
"Something About Us" was premiered on The Dome 21 in Stuttgart on March 1, and made its television debut on March 7, 2002 at the 11th ECHO Awards in Berlin. Officially released on May 6, 2002, the CD maxi single spawned extended and club mixes as well as an alternative Latin Radio Edit, all produced by Das Leihaus and the latter of also appeared on the Special Winter Edition of the album, and the Langnese jingle "Like Ice in the Sunshine."
Upon its release on May 6, 2002, "Something About Us" became the band's third single to debut on the top position of the German Singles Chart, as well as the group's third non-consecutive number-one hit within a period of sixteen months. It remained on top of the chart for four consecutive weeks, seven weeks in the top ten, and sixteen weeks inside the top 100, making its last appearance on the chart one week prior to the entry of follow-up single "Still in Love with You". It received a platinum certification by the German arm of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. However, the song was one of a total of eleven number-one hits that year, but failed to reach the top ten of the biggest-selling singles of the year and was eventually ranked eleventh on the German year-end chart.
The song also became the band's third number-one hit in Austria where it debuted at number four on the Austrian Singles Chart on May 19, 2002, before climbing to number one the next week. It spent one week on top of the singles charts only, but remained six weeks inside the Top 10 and twenty-one weeks in total. It received a gold certification by the IFPI Austria and was ranked within the thirty biggest-selling singles of 2002. In Switzerland, "Something About Us" underperformed in its first week, debuting at number thirty-one on the Swiss Singles Chart only. The following week, it jumped to number eleven due to a major increase in sales and radio support, but it would become the band's first single not to reach the Top 10.
The single's music video was filmed inside a Berlin printing plant in early April 2002 and the No Angels' first collaboration with both director Marcus Sternberg and American choreographer Sean Cheesman. It was shot over twenty hours and features Jessica Wahls' late spouse Sascha Dickreuter as a dancer.
Inspired by the song lyric's media-critical subtext, the clip ironically features the quintet as overall-dressed printers of an all-fictional tabloid newspaper called Daily Express. While they are seen dancing in front of running printing presses throughout most of the video, intercut with face shots and some male dancers, close shots of the paper's pages reveal the background of the page-one catchline 'Girlband Shocker': Each of them has to deal with intense media scrutiny, including rumors of alleged bisexuality, incest, and physical aggression, among others. Although slightly autobiographical, Lucy Diakovska has denied that the headlines were inspired by real-life events. "The video is not about certain events," Jessica Wahls added, "but [it's] about how we've felt the past year, [about] what happened to [each of] us and the band."
Formats and track listings
Credits and personnel
Credits taken from Now... Us! liner notes.
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