On their self-titled Giant Records debut, invites listeners on a body-rocking tour of the globe. Though the group’s members hail from the U.S., Mexico, the Philippines, England and Israel, create harmonies so tight and soulful, one would swear the girls were born of the same mother. It’s this sisterly spirit that animates the 12 tracks featured on the group’s debut disc. The album was produced by such respected hitmakers as David Frank & Steve Kipner (co-writers of Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In a Bottle” and 98’s “The Hardest Thing”), Shelley Peiken and Guy Roche (composers of Christina Aguilera’s “What a Girl Wants” and Brandy’s “Almost Doesn’t Count”), Cutfather & Joe (LFO, B’witched, Five, Ace of Base), KC Porter (Ricky Martin, Santana, Selena, Boyz II Men) and others. veritably crackles with youthful intensity, funky grooves and utopian vibes. Indeed, Christina, Andi, Gaby, Kate and Tal totally redefine the term “racial harmony.”
From the opening track to the last, grabs hold and never lets go. The album’s irresistible first single, “Distracted,” juxtaposes edgy, pop rhythms against lyrics that playfully examine the obsessive side of romance. The Diane Warren-penned “If I Ever See Heaven Again” features serenading guitar and a bravura vocal performance by the group. On the infectious “Ladidi, Ladida,” exotic melodies and funky grooves provide the backdrop for the quintet’s coquettish, yet assertive, harmonies. With its powerful combination of pluck and playfulness, “Cinderella” is a timeless anthem for girls of all ages.
As evidenced by their global grooves, ‘s musical curiosity knows no bounds. “Scream Shout” is a merengue-inspired romp that’s sure to incite a worldwide dance riot. “First Kiss” is punctuated by baroque harpischord and ornate European melodies. The exuberant rhythms of “Best Friend” recall the mirror-balled hijinx of the Studio 54 era. On the captivating “Can I Get A Witness,” blur the distinctions between classic balladry and mellow r&b funk.
The members of are already demonstrating their songwriting skills. Three tunes featured on the group’s album were co-composed by member Gaby Equiz, including “Sweet and Sassy Girl” and “Scream Shout.” The hi-powered dance track “Best Friend” was co-written by Gaby and her comrade Tal.
Unforgettable songs, breathtaking solo vocals, spiraling harmonies is an irresistible recording that underscores the virtues of teamwork. Comprised of five self-starters, the members of could have easily pursued successful solo careers. But an undeniable chemistry was evident the moment the girls harmonized. “When the group first formed, we realized we had similar leadership abilities,” says resident Brit, Andi. “We occasionally butted heads at first, but we made this group happen through communication. The chemistry was so strong, we knew it was our destiny to work together.”
Unlike many pop groups who slavishly follow trends, aspired to create a unique sound. “We have a message to get across,” says Gaby, from Mexico City. “We want to make music that is meaningful. We lead meaningful lives, and we want to encourage people to do the same.”
The group also wanted to transcend musical barriers. Towards that goal, they spoke excitedly of incorporating exotic influences like Middle Eastern house music, Latin pop and other world sounds. “Our sound is pop, r&bwith a little bit of everything,” says the group’s Philippine musical ambassador, Kate. “It’s all the influences combined into one. It acknowledges and respects all people.”
Tal, a native of Israel, emphasizes the group’s objective, “We really want kids all over the world to connect with our music.”
To stress their egalitarian philosophy, the girls decided to call themselves . There was a delectable, humanistic appeal to the name it hinted of universal harmony, rugged individuality and inseparable unity.
Armed with formidable talent and a singular artistic vision, is now poised for global superstardom. And while they continue to pursue their dream with unbridled enthusiasm, the group says their musical bond is its own reward.
“I never had a sister before, but now I know what it’s like,” says Christina, the group’s U.S.-born dynamo. “It’s our love of music and performing that brought us together, but it’s the sisterly love that keeps us together.”