So… this is the official BBC Children In Need 2010 single, hmm? Soz girls, looks like the tops are staying on this time.
The BBC have no real strategy to picking their official single; they never have. They’ll often go for a gimmick (sorry, novelty) single like last year’s Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band and ‘The Official BBC Children In Need Medley’, or they’ll opt for the hottest act in the scene who’ll guarantee them good sales because of their popularity (on top of the guaranteed sales they’ll get just for being a charity single), like Girls Aloud (those were the days) or JLS.
So it made sense then, that they’d choose to support JLS, whose fanbase extends further than the stars of distant galaxies, but whose quality rarely makes it out the front door.
Up to now, JLS have done a fairly good job at sounding current (‘Beat Again’ and even the terrible ‘The Club Is Alive’), but their ballads so far leave a gaping whole in the current pop trends (‘Everybody In Love’ and ‘One Shot’). But even so, out of their four – now five – singles so far, only one suggests that any effort was put into them: their first. The rest seem half-baked attempts at pop tunes with the single goal of gathering sales from their huge fanbase who think any song by JLS is the second coming and therefore must be bought for the sole intention of getting them to #1. Which, paradoxically, lends itself very well to JLS’ ability to be able to release any old dross, without due care and attention, and expect it to be a hit.
So, they’ve got the BBC Children In Need backing, plus an army of screaming teen and pre-teen girls. What’s to stop them getting to #1? Does the quality really matter?
Well to me it does, and for that reason, I can’t help but notice this is another step backwards for JLS. Of course, with ‘The Club Is Alive’, they only went and stepped backward off a giant cliff, but this, whilst not being quite as tragic, and in comparison is actually a step forwards, is still a step backwards for chart music. It sounds like something Backstreet Boys would’ve sung if they were more serious about their career; something Boyzone would’ve released if they could get their hands on it; something Westlife would’ve turned down because it’s not ‘big’ enough, and something Take That would simply flinch at now that they ditched the guitars and piano in place of some swirly synth action.
It really is quite a low for British boyband ballads, purely because it doesn’t even try to be something new and current, instead it relies on it’s singers rather than it’s substance.
And it’s not like the singers give much substance the song either, as the boys’ voices are tissue-like and frail; only Aston shows signs of actually possessing singing talent, and that’s only on two lines during the chorus. It’s a shame because we all know they can sing, but since they left the X Factor, they’ve just got worse and failed to show they have any work ethic other than to make lots of money while they mime their way through live shows and lift their tops up to make their fans drool.
It sounds like a Boyzone reject from 1992, mixed with a piano riff that sounds a lot like the one I wrote for my Music GCSE.
Seriously though, the very fact that the piano riff, the backbone of the music, is so simple a sixteen year old boy could write it proves why JLS will sing whatever they’re given, no matter how bad (also proven by ‘The Club Is Alive’) because they know it will be a hit. That or they think it’s actually good. And how old was the lyricist? What, four? “Day one, blah, blah, blah/Day two, blah, blah, blah/Day three [DON’T FALL ASLEEP YET, FOUR MORE DAYS]” and so on. It’s like a Year 2 nursery rhyme writing session on a rainy Wednesday afternoon; you know the ‘lyricists’ would rather be doing something else, so they fill the lyrics up with predictable, simplistic rubbish.
The lyrics are simple, the music is simple, the singing is vacant and void of any emotion, although I will commend Oritse when he bellows “And MOR-ORE” repeatedly, because that’s the only point during this snooze-fest that makes it sound completed.
Here’s the video, do you not think it’s about time they cleaned the camera lens? The picture appears to be smudged.
I like how, at the end of the video, when they’re on the beach, the way it’s shot makes it look like they’re looking deep into each others eyes whilst singing “I love you more and more and more every day”.
It’s an improvement, but only because it’s predecessor was the woeful ‘The Club Is Alive’; it’s not anything new, and sounds like something Boyzone would’ve had a #11 hit with nearly twenty years ago. Any other artist would kill for JLS’ popularity, but their tunes are a more dubious affair. I get the feeling the only real niche they’re carving themselves is the ‘We’ll Take Any Song, Regardless Of Quality, And Make It A Hit’ guys, because the hundreds of scores of fans they have will wet themselves over the thought of JB, Oritse, Marvin and Aston smiling sweetly with a camera close-up.
But I’ll end this review with this: what’s loving a girl more and more each day got to do with Children In Need? Oh well… half marks good enough?
Yeah, go on then.
Rating: 2.5 STARS
Download: November 15, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Outta This World’