To my mind, Atomic Kitten always had a patina of Supersaver's Supremes about them, an all girl trio peddling the low end glamour of a stone clad council house. I'm not having a go; in fact, it made them seem more 'real' and 'girl next door' approachable than (say) US trio Destiny's Child ever could and it added to the appeal. And to keep the praise going, I can confess to always having a soft spot for 'Whole Again', though I'll caveat that by adding that most of my affection is reserved for the version cut when Kerry Katona was still in the line-up.
In that, Katona intones the "If you see me walking down the street, staring at the sky and dragging my two feet" verses in the teen melodrama sing/speak that echoed The Shangri-Las at their finest and provided a springboard for the "Looking back on when we first met, I can not escape and I can not forget" flywheel of a chorus. On the present take, new kitten Jenny Frost lightens the mood by singing those same lines as part of the song proper. But while this makes the whole more fluid, Frost's school production voice places too much emphasis on the main melody, meaning that the much repeated chorus becomes more of the same rather than a welcome break from the drama. Of which there is now none. 'Whole Again' is still a string of fairy lights fluttering in the breeze, but it took Katona to make them flash. Kerry Katona the anti dumbing down queen? Now that's not something I'm going to be able to say very often.