Single Review: The Wanted - 'Glad You Came'

“‘Glad You Came’ feels like The Wanted are fast moving away from their more charismatic roots”

2 STARS

Digital Release: July 10, 2011

Physical Release: July 10, 2011

Recalling the moment when ‘All Time Low’ hit #1 in the UK, it’s interesting to note how The Wanted have gone downhill from then onward, not just in the quality of their music, but their lyrics too. Now, I would usually be the first in line - no, in fact, I’d be the lazy one who thinks what he’s got to say is so terribly important, I’d have to resort to queue jumping because there’d be no real motive for me to say anything until the crucial moment - to criticise manufactured boybands, especially those that have little writing credit on their songs. But the scathing critic in me was forced reluctantly into remission because ‘All Time Low’ was (and still is to a certain extent) something quite special amongst the charts saturated with mindless pop drivel, because of it being really rather clever: there were internal lyrics, syncopated melodies, and an ostentatious string refrain that demanded attention (on the downside though, this is exactly the kind of musical element that gets annoying when you factor in mass promotion). Then of course, there was the listener’s inability to place the genre because, without wanting to sound too derogatory, ‘All Time Low’ never really knew just what it wanted to be, but thankfully all impasses were rectified when the synthesisers went a bit turbulent at about two-thirds in. In short, it actually made you turn your head.

Suffice to say such unorthodox brilliance was left in short supply in each successive effort from the five boys, despite there being similar flashes of promise on their début album. But now, with album two on the way, the boys are back with the ‘proper’ lead single from their as of yet untitled sophomore effort.

And ‘Glad You Came’ showcases none of the previously heard pop excellence and instead we’ve been presented with another stale, indigestible chunk of boyband pop that’s been soaked in desperately saccharine niceness on the lyrical front - “My universe will never be the same/I’m glad you came”, they sing, each member’s voice as vacant and indeterminate as the next one, with the exception of Max, who’s attempt at sweet falsetto is foiled once again by the fact his vocal power is not found up in the rafters.

Accompanied by routine melodies and a ‘This’ll do’ attitude to what is presumably meant to be the part where everyone is supposed to be overcome by a desire to party (I completely missed it on the first listen), ‘Glad You Came’ feels like The Wanted are fast moving away from their more charismatic roots (‘All Time Low’, or album track ‘Let’s Get Ugly’) and are instead peddling more disposable songs they’ve unwisely chosen as singles. I say unwisely because the majority of their recent releases (‘such as charity single Gold Forever’) that struggle to rank much higher than predictable album filler.

 

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