GIRLS ALOUD | Can't Speak French


I wait underneath the covers
All night beside you
And who could ever question any crying I do
My heavy heart is beating out a rhythm
All night beside me
And I fall a little harder every time that I do

Watch me living it up, you totally
Got me stuck in a rut, you're made for me
How am I gonna step up, and say to you
I get the feeling boy I want you, want you

(Now) conversation is tough
Because you're totally
Walking 'round all the stuff
You wanna say to me
Words are never enough
Oh baby baby you turn my dust to gold

I can't speak French
So I'll let the funky music do the talking talking
I can't speak French
So I'll let the funky music do the talking
I can't speak French
So I'll let the funky music do the talking talking
I'm in deep friend
So I'll let the funky music do the talking

I gotta let you know
I wanna give in to my temptation
And let my feelings show
I gotta let you know

I can't speak French
So I'll let the funky music do the talking talking
I can't speak French
So I'll let the funky music do the talking
I can't speak French
So I'll let the funky music do the talking talking
I'm in deep friend
So I'll let the funky music do the talking

Available on:
x Girls Aloud - Tangled Up (2007) CD
x Girls Aloud - Can't Speak French (2008) CD-S, digital download

Written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Tim Powell, Nick Coler, Jody Lei and Carla Marie Williams.
Produced by Brian Higgins and Xenomania.
Keyboards: Tim Powell, Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper.
Guitar: Nick Coler.
Mixed by Tim Powell and Brian Higgins.
Mastering engineer: Dick Beetham for 360 Mastering
Published by Warner Chappell/Xenomania

Single information:
"Can't Speak French" is Girls Aloud's eighteenth single and the second to be taken from Tangled Up. The single was released on March 17, 2008.
Peak position: #9 in the UK charts.

Brian Higgins describes "Can't Speak French" as perhaps the easiest Girls Aloud single they made.

A French version of the song has been recorded and released as a b-side on the single. It's titled "Je Ne Parle Pas Francais".

x Enter Can't Speak French, a prime example of Xenomania's ability to throw wildly disparate musical elements together, an ability they seem to reserve for Girls Aloud, possibly because it fits so perfectly with Cole and co: these ideas shouldn't work but they do, just like the notion of a reality TV-birthed band making thrilling and ground-breaking albums. Here, you get a peculiar, loping rhythm that can't decide whether it's swing shuffle or glitter stomp, topped off with an ungainly synthesised bassline and intricate jazzy guitar. As ever, you get the distinct impression that lyricist Miranda Cooper may require surgery to get her tongue out of her cheek: "I'll let the funky music do the talking," runs the chorus, over a beat that couldn't be more cumbersome and unfunky if it tried. Alexis Petridis

x "Can't Speak French" is yet another flawless pop treat from the still-lamely-named girl group that'll surely garner repeated play. The ghost of George Michael hangs over it's boppable groove, a rewarding shuffle with a slight Latin tinge, while each line documents a girl falling deeper in love with her new bedmate. While he lays asleep beside her (what is it, some unisex sleepover?), she quietly weeps to the joy of their prospective union, trying to figure out a way to communicate her feelings without scaring dude off. "I got to let you know I wanna give into my temptation," one of the ladies swoon, leading to the best hook of the season: "I can't speak French/ So I'll let the funky music do the talking".
Definite Ipod material when you're trying to lose those Thanksgiving pounds on the treadmill, "Can't Speak French" retains Girls Aloud's knack for catchy ditties you shouldn't like but do. Damn them for making us love them so. David Allun Jones

x The thing I love most about Girls Aloud is their ability to be apart of true pop classics. The latest inductee into that list is Can't Speak French, which is this albums Biology. What an epic song. There's a charming distortion going on throughout the track too which - I think - only adds to its beauty. Adem

x (...) they claim they don't need the language, happy to "let the funky music do the talking". Which is all very well, but this time around the mid-paced groove isn't all that funky - a twitch in the little toe perhaps, but nothing more. Yet it possesses that elusive quality found throughout the girls' career - yet another song that creeps up when you're not looking, lodging itself in your head. It's one of the reasons they retain their treasured status in British pop music. Ben Hogwood

x Nicola Roberts has one line. The instruments have been turned up too loud. But the "I gotta let you know-whoa-whoa-whoa" bit makes me melt. Have I mentioned how well I feel this works as a single? Snucks right up on you with that steady, sturdy clip, and carries you away, all the way away. A constant sidling, hips gently rub atop thighs, caressing, curving, gliding. William. B. Swygart

x Oh GA - what's gone wrong? For a start the Marie Antoinette meets um, streetwalker, costumes are just a little too nutso, even for us, and secondly, you seem to have nicked a large part of your melody from Amy Winehouse's Back in Black. Hells bells, you even use the word 'funky' in a serious fashion. Stay behind after class - we need to have words. Leonie Cooper

x This could be career suicide, but when you see a glimmer of notable brilliance even in the silliest songs, the responsible thing is to stand up and admit it. So here goes nothing... because if that isn't the grooviest bassline and the sauciest arpeggio to grace a manufactured chart hit in 2008, I don't know what is. I'm undecided whether this is a bad joke or a stroke of genius designed to flummox sanctimonious singles reviewers. Certainly it continues to aspire to the same vacuous pop ethic that's got the Girls this far - exhibit A: their unified mantra of "I can't speak French, so I'll let the funky music do the talking... talking". Pure idiocy. But then, playing to your strengths is never a bad thing. Sarah Walters

x Delving into the background of who actually writes and produces pop music's biggest hits can ruin its grand illusion, but even without knowing the details it seems obvious that the current cream of behind-the-scenes songwriters and producers are working the Girls Aloud account.
Their latest single Can't Speak French has a warming synth sound, backed by a wonderful handclap rhythm and a sweet lo-key melody. It's laissez-faire disco, slickly produced, professionally performed but without a hint of cynicism. Girls Aloud are certainly a manufactured pop group, but one with music lovers, as well as bank accounts, in mind. Colm Larkin

x While attitude, bizarrely complex song structures and a highly developed - annoyingly so in the case of their covers - sense of fun may all be key character traits of the forthright quintet, sophistication has never been a strong point. Yet following "Call The Shots"'s well appointed example, "Can't Speak French" sees further evidence of the maturing of the pop quintet. It is, and few would have thought it possible, a subtle Girls Aloud song.
So much so that it actually takes a good few listens for the sheer brilliance of the measured sexuality (properly smouldering) and satiny '80s swagger (the guitar's straight off "Careless Whisper") to make itself known. And it's not just the presumed Frenchness of their love interest which makes it classy. It's the fact that for once the inescapable chorus is a quiet purr of seduction rather than a bellow of chavtastic shouting. If Girls Aloud have to grow-up, there can be few better ways of doing it. Dan Gennoe

x A typically ballsy Xenomania concoction, all shuffling beats, sad, lovely melodies and a bassline that buzzes like a horny bee, it finds the girls at their glummest, desperately trying to impress a guy who turns their "dust to gold" but doesn't realise it. With enough swoons and sighs to keep even a Mills & Boon reader happy, it's the best exercise in pop melancholy since, well, 'Call The Shots'. Nick Levine

x The tempo is taken down a slight notch, a swing beat kicks in backed by some squelchy synths, and there's yet another chorus that stays in your head forever, aided by the gloriously silly lyric of "I can't speak French, so I'll let the funky music do the talking". It's possibly the best thing they've ever done. John Murphy

x video on YouTube
x Wikipedia page

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