You get the impression from listening to Nadine Coyle’s new single that she has never done a 9-5 in her life. First of all, who – aside from people who work in chocolate factories and catteries – is this keen to go to work? I’ll tell you – it’s no one. And who is this peppy first thing in the morning? Again, it’s no one. And how many people who work a 9-5 have the luxury of getting up at 7:45 as Nadine apparently does? It’s no one. So far, the whole set-up sounds like a bit of a scam if I’m being honest with you.
On her latest single, ex Girls Alouder Nadine is embracing the capitalist work ethos that was popularised first by Maggie Thatcher in the 1980s and, subsequently, Britney Spears in the early 2010s. It’s a diverse manifesto to work from, but ‘Go To Work’ lacks Thatcher’s dead-eyed brutality and Spears’ dubious promises of a Maserati. Instead, Nadine opts for an upbeat, summery dance vibe – courtesy of producer extraordinaire Brian Higgins – to get her message across, a message that is surprisingly conservative, in every sense of the word.
On ‘Go To Work’, Nadine decrees that her bloke should get out of bed and go to work to support his woman – just like her mom did in the past. You know the past, a time when men were men, women were women and everyone was even more racist than they are now. Magical times. Nadine longs for a traditional, heteronormative relationship in which her man is the breadwinner, slogging it out in an office day after day, growing gradually more hateful as the hours drag on, wondering whether life is really worth the hassle after all, that little spark he once felt inside him fading with each passing second. This is the future Nadine wants.
Nadine drives her point home with her pointed, repeated refrain of “Why don’t you go to work?” It’s a snappy soundbite, the kind Theresa May might role out on the campaign trail or slap on the side of a van. But despite its catchy hooks, particularly Nadine’s imploring “What have I got to do to get you up in the morning?”, the track is somewhat hampered by the lacklustre, all-purpose dance pop arrangement. Given that pop fans are used to Nadine peddling high-quality, offbeat bangers as one fifth of Girls Aloud, ‘Go To Work’ is a step down from even some of the weakest GA singles. Perhaps Nadine should have taken a leaf out of fellow former girl-bander Mollie King’s book, whose latest single ‘Hair Down’ embodies the camp ultra-pop that once characterised a chart-blasting Girls Aloud smash.
‘Go To Work’ is a solid dance anthem but one that lacks real flair, a pity given that it comes with Girls Aloud hit-makers Xenomania at the helm. But there isn’t much here to set it apart from the rest of the club tunes dominating the airwaves. Aside from its oddly pro-work ethos, that is. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say ‘Go To Work’ was little more than a grassroots Conservative movement to shame people into employment. I mean, it probably isn’t, but it could be. It could be, couldn’t it?