i5: self-titled


The latest in pre-packaged, good looking girl groups is i5, a group of five Spice Girl wannabes put together by Giant Records. Although all five women have pleasant voices, it was probably the intentions of the label to try to revive the girl group craze that died two years ago and make a bunch of money off of the group’s mostly teenage fan base. i5 members were strategically picked from all around the world, including the U.S., Philippines, Mexico, Israel, and England. Despite the members diverse home towns, each of them sound nothing more than a Brtiney Spears or Christina Aguilera cover singer.

The project starts out with the thumping, hip-hop styled “Ladida, Ladida”. The track highlights the ladies’ vocal strength, but is mere fluff featuring what sounds like an artificially programmed funk and R&B backdrop.

“Best Friend” is a pointless account of a two friends that consider a romantic relationship. Speaking of friendship, I doubt these five ladies have had much time to get to know one another during their record company strategy meetings, photo shoots, and record store appearances.

I5 attempts to be very current in their sound on “Scream Shout” by cashing in on the soon-to-die Latin craze. The entire disc incorporates a bit of that Latin feel, but leans heavily on a basic bubble gum pop style. The group’s leadoff single “Distracted” is a perfect example of that and the song will certainly be embraced by Top 40 radio, while lasting in play lists for at least a week.

The album’s only redeeming factor is “If I Ever See Heaven Again”, written by the well known writer Diane Warren, who has been behind some of Celine Dion’s and Whitney Houston’s best masterpieces. Although i5 is probably enjoying the first few minutes of their 15 of fame, it’s safe to say that they will never be heard from again after this project. i5 will remain a rage amongst teenagers until the A&R team at the label can put together another group of pretty singers that will be “the next big thing”.