Sorry I know I’m a bit behind, but maybe this was one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it singles. It certainly was in the UK, where they followed up the completely unexpectedly biggest hits of their career with one of their biggest disasters to date.
This has been happening a lot, when I’m at the gym I’d have my own music but watch the little TV screen set to a music channel. So I’m quite up on the latest music videos, just not the songs that go with them. The video for “Gentleman” looked fairly swish, a blizzard of green-screen shots to mock up some Desperate Housewives-esque suburbia, with the girls in their fanciest of dresses doing all sort of mundane housework, musing on how men are a bit shit these days.
Later on, their masculine counterparts pout and grimace over a poker table, before revealing that they are in fact The Saturdays dressed up as men. I guess it’s something about Girl Power or gender reassignment or something, I’m sure scholars will be debating these sorts of things in later centuries.
The song is absolutely not what I expected from them, particular as they’ve just announced the name of their album as “Disco Love” – if it’s an album at all, they’ve had as many false starts as *insert sporting reference*, to the point that I’m not sure how many ACTUAL studio albums they’ve had so far. But “Gentleman” isn’t very disco, nor does it try to capitalise on the dancefloor filla success of “What about us”. It’s sort of speed-R’n’B. I don’t know. I’m just glad it’s not StooShe, quite frankly.
It’s alright, it’s been stuck in my head, but I doubt I’ll rate it much in the context of their quite impressive back catalogue. There isn’t much singing, just a lot of deadpan rap about how hard it is to find a good man these days, and how easy it was in the 90s. Hang on though, aren’t they younger than me? I’m sure that makes them pre-teens in 1995… but before I consider that too closely, the song enters its final act, involving a hair-raising stream of consciousness, listing eligible men they’d like to “get with”.
Totally barmy, it starts reasonably enough, listing Ryan Gosling and R-Patz, but oddly throws Obama into the mix. A few rappers too, Drake (fair enough), Ludacris (hmm) and Wheezy – they reflect my feelings by adding “I don’t care who he is”.
Larry King evidently wanted a mention so they could get another appearance on US TV, George Clooney is there (now THAT is so 1995). Totally trampling on the whole idea of the song though, they also want “Kanye, he ain’t a gentleman, but I’ll have him anyway”. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS. Was feminism so 1998? You can’t complain that there are no gentlemen these days and then go “phooar that guy’s a hot douchebag, lemme at him, holla!!”.
The mind boggles! But that’s par for the course when you talk about The Saturdays. Long may they reign as the UK’s hapless de-facto #1 girlband.