10 years after the release of Scouting for Girls, Jonny Arnold revisits and analyses the success of the pop trio, and looks at where their sound has gone since 2007.

Ten years on, the name Scouting for Girls will either make you reach for your CD player or make you very, very angry.

And there’s plenty here to get you angry – their self-titled debut album’s relentless jolly-pop didn’t try to offer much more than catchy hooks and a plinky-plonk piano. But my word, they plinked and plonked that piano well.

It was very much of its time – amongst the Keane’s and Coldplay’s of 2007, Scouting for Girls fitted in perfectly, even offering a slightly more upbeat take on the formula. Perversely, listening back after a decade is quite refreshing: all of the sounds on this record could be played on actual instruments, and the choruses offer (slightly) more than endlessly repeating the word “work”.

 

 

There are some great singles on this album – much more deserving than their highest chart position of #7. She’s So Lovely makes you swish your head from side-to-side like a hyperactive toddler, and Elvis Ain’t Dead is a song almost perfectly designed for karaoke. To top it all off, the album finishes with their hidden ode to Michaela Strachan. a song that is equal parts bizarre and incredible.

So what have they been up to since 2007? Well, they released a few more albums. They bagged an Ivor Novello for This Ain’t A Love Song. They’ve even released their obligatory Greatest Hits album, creatively titled Greatest Hits.

In that time, it would be difficult to argue that their sound has moved on – the piano’s still there. The catchy hooks are still there. But despite all this, you’ll still be tapping your feet and singing along, because it’s enthusiasm is infectious. It was viral before viral was even a thing.

So go on, dust off your CD player and give their debut album another spin. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.