Not that it needs re-iterating anymore, but did you know Girls Aloud are “on hiatus”? LOL. Well I think we can already say the final nail’s firmly in the coffin for them (Cheryl’s second album, Nadine’s failed career, and now Nicole’s got herself signed) and said coffin is already floating halfway across the ocean right now. And oh look, with The Saturdays’ latest efforts are a bit botched up, too (‘Wordshaker’s appalling sales, the ‘Headlines!’ mini-album, it’s pointless deluxe edition re-issue), so it makes sense that we take our hats off and bid them farewell from the music scene too, as this is what polite, respectful listeners would do… *removes metaphorical hat*
BUT THEN AGAIN… Not everyone is a polite, respectful listener now, are they? Especially the record label executives at Atlantic Records. They’ve only gone and spotted and grabbed the glaring opportunity and strung a new girl group together comprising of one o’ them girlies from X Factor girl-group Hope, another one from The Banned Of St. Trinian’s and another girl from recently disbanded girl-group City Girls (nope, me neither) plus two others. I introduce you to Parade, a new British five-piece definitely not named after the top-shelf lad’s magazine.*
They’ve been doing a The Wanted for a few months I.e. – scouring the countries school for intimate gigs to gain a sturdy fanbase as well as recording songs for their début album. And now, with the release of their first proper single well underway, and with the two biggest UK girl-groups posing about as much threat as a soggy tissue, it’s time to see whether Parade’s miming- oh, I mean singing abilities are much cop, and of course, we’ll have a look at their début single too. Will they be joining the ranks of girl-groups superstardom or be left to dwindle in the dark like Girls Can’t Catch and Mini Viva?
‘Louder’ is one of those tunes thematically similar to something like Rihanna’s ‘Pon De Replay’, where the singer(s) requests the music is turned up. It’s quite odd isn’t it, a song, sung by a singer(s) who wants their song turned up being used as the début single says someone on the marketing bench knows their stuff. Unfortunately, the music itself leaves a lot to be desired.
From the very name of the song to the tired structure, the bored delivery and the uninspired lyrics, there is very little quality and even less of that ‘something new’ spark to be found here. The song sounds like a cast-off from when The Saturdays decided not to be good anymore (so that’ll be ‘Forever Is Over’-present) except for that chorus: who’s going to argue with that lovely chorus? ‘Louder’ has a tinge of electronic music enveloped by a big pop production with a catchy, verging on irritating, hook line – “Turn it up, boy, boy/Turn it up, boy”, and of course, it’s feisty – “I gotta get a rush/So I need to say your love is dangerous/But now you’re pushing zero on the meter/So go connect your body to a speaker”. So you can’t say it doesn’t have the ingredients needed to get themselves heard and with a big promotional push sure, they could be big, but do they offer anything we haven’t seen already? Debateable, very debateable.
Looking at the five girls does make you think though… They look almost as similarly out-of-place and haphazardly thrown together as The Wanted.
That’ll be the third video I’ve seen over the last year with big silver helium balloons spelling out the artist’s name(s) and about the fortieth to feature a staircase and some corridor camera-chasing.
This would be the part where I say something like “A* for effort, but the end product is a bit of a wet fish”… well, this time Parade don’t even get the effort marks. They’re a good looking bunch of girls with some fairly decent vocals ready for their spot in the limelight whilst the big cats are away sorting out personal issues, career path re-consideration etc., and sure, they’ve got a fairly catchy bit of pop with a cracking chorus under their belt for their first chart outing but, in all honesty, there’s nothing new to see here, guys.
Rating: 2.5 STARS
Download: March 7, 2011
Featured Album: TBA