Is the latest age of the boy-band shakily rolling its way off a cliff? That might seem like an odd thing to say, given that it’s the year One Direction fulfilled their Syco-controlled destiny by breaking the USA. Alongside them, The Wanted claimed an even less-expected smash with their Club-Med summer single “Glad you came”.
But it all has an undercurrent of worry and desperation about it. JLS – who arguably kicked off the latest chapter in boyband history – aren’t packing the same punch sales-wise. The Wanted have yet to score a big album hit, with the last campaign really failing to capitalise on their success in the singles chart. One Direction are getting away with it at the moment, but there are worrying signs that they are spreading themselves a bit thin, judging by their singles performances, though their album is making a big splash on home turf this week.
The Wanted are playing it safe with this lead single (sort of) from third album “Third Strike” (which helpfully picks up the US debut album’s single “Chasing the sun” that hit the UK over the summer). It’s certainly sounds familiar, going down the same Balkan Beats avenue that worked so well on “Glad you came”. Even safer, they are (in my opinion, wisely) keeping the album away from a potentially fatal crush in the festive market by leaving it until March.
So far so good, and they are still as likeable and memorable as they ever were (for better or worse). How on Earth are they going to sing this live though? It’s about 2 octaves higher than it should be! Rampant falsetto rules this one, which limits the melody a little, but it’s a pretty straightforward catchy pop song. Feels very ‘on-brand’, if I’m being nice, or a cowardly re-tread if I’m not.
The problem is that it’s no “Glad you came”, which is made all the more noticeable by the two songs’ similarities.
Video is a bit try-hard, they are strutting around like Burtons models (or maybe Matalan), engaging in rather troublingly S&M group activity with some lady tied to a radiator, and even beating up some guys! YEAHH WELL’ARD!! The youngest one (I don’t know his name yet) is obviously coming of age now and gets plenty of screen-time being all grown-up.
It’ll be pretty impressive if they manage to sing all this in tune during the X-Factor performance I HOPE they have lined up. But they keep their position as my most-liked boyband of the moment (though we’ll re-appraise that if Lawson start getting their bums out).