Have you ever been in a van with a bunch of tween girls singing along with the radio? If so, then you probably have a good idea of what Girl Authority sounds like. The band is a record label creation formed from eight young girls aged 11-13 and one age 8, all with musical theater backgrounds. The girls have created alter egos for themselves reminiscent of the Spice Girls and the reign of girl power in the late 90s: “Rock n’ Roll Girl,” “All-Star Girl,” “Glamour Girl,” “Urban Girl,” and “Country Girl,” just to name a few. At best, the band is cute. At worse, they are just another marketing campaign.
Each of the girls takes the vocal lead on one of the 15 tracks, selected to fit their alter egos. For example, “Country Girl” Crystal sings lead on the country pop SHeDAISY’s “Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing.” The rest of the tracks are group songs with lead vocals traded off by all members of the band. They certainly had fun putting together these arrangements, which is apparent by the giggling and silliness used to cover the censored parts of “Hollaback Girl.”
If it seems like I am ambivalent about the CD, it is probably because I am not in their target market of tween kids and their parents. Maybe I would have really grooved on this record when I was 12. The songs are pop hits, so at least as a parent I would have some connection to the music. But, as a basic music listener with a taste for well-crafted original music, this is not a CD I would want in my collection.
It’s too bad, because pop music is in need of some real girl authority. Were I a tween now, I would be looking for a band that sings my stories, not adult pop songs. I would want the band members to be themselves, not marketing creations that turn them into stereotypes. Hopefully, someday Girl Authority will become something more than just a wishful name.