Seriously, WTF? I was a little perturbed when I heard “She walks like Rihanna” was the title of the latest release by The Wanted. I mean sure, things might be looking a little ropey for the group since 2011 album “Battleground” (see my review here) didn’t do particularly well in the UK, and their success in the USA looks like it might have been a bit of a blip, despite a reasonable showing for their catch-up EP over there.
Interest in singles since then has been limited despite decent chart positions, with “Chasing the sun” and “I found you” (review) not really consolidating their position in the UK’s pop landscape. So let’s try something to get a bit of attention…
Now I’m not entirely sure if Rihanna has a particular kind of walk (cue jokes about her having a limp or something), let alone a distinctive enough walk to write a whole song around it.
Still, the boys are steering away from their well-worn niche of Ibiza dancepop anthems in favour of fairly MOR pop fare. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not particularly on-brand for The Wanted is it? I mean if District 3 came out with this, I’d happily enjoy it until they inevitably got dropped as a result.
The song itself is really catchy though, and I am enjoying it, don’t get me wrong. The lyrics are pretty brainless and a bit chauvinistic. Stupid? Uncoordinated? Don’t worry if you’ve got a great arse! The verses are a bit thin but the chorus is very catchy, and I’ve happily just listened to it a few times in a row. I just worry it’s the wrong choice for them.
You’ll need to do better than that middle-eight though, just going “boom boom, boom boom” repeatedly isn’t much of a hook. Still, having listened to “Heart Vacancy” recently it’s far from their worst lyrical work.
The video is another matter entirely. What a piece of work. The “Gold Forever” comedy gurning is back, and plenty of outtakes from the video shoot – it’s a fun video, and I’ll grudgingly play along, perhaps rolling my eyes exasperatedly.
Threatening to tear the space/time continuum a new hole, it borrows the idea from a (shit) 5ive video where the boys are pitching ideas for a new music video. These treatments are themselves borrowed from iconic boyband videos. We’ve got the puppet scene from N*Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye”, the airport from Backstreet Boys’ “I want it that way” and the car-park from Take That’s “Back for good”.
Not super-modern references, and likely to be utterly lost on many tween fans, who might even think they are original ideas. In a sad twist, the final scenes where they are just dancing in an underground club (or something) looks the best of all, and shows that they can still be a convincing boyband.
I think this will be a love/hate song in their repertoire, but fortunately I’ve always got time for The Wanted, and I sort of love it. Christ knows what the third album will sound like though!