To expect much quality from a single that’s been resigned the laborious duty of promoting a big block-buster film by being played as the end credits roll is only one step above foolish: ambitious. Furthermore, to expect that said song would in fact chart rather handsomely is pretty much plain daftness on both fan and artist’s part.
But, notwithstanding, some soundtrack singles have been really rather good: Mika’s collaboration with RedOne for the film Kick Ass, ‘Kick Ass (We Are Young)’, is an example of a very good soundtrack single. And it doesn’t take much effort to look about and see that some soundtrack singles have, on the very rare occasion, made it as far into the chart they could be considered hits. Nickelback’s ‘Hero’ for Spiderman or Take That’s own ‘Rule The World’ for Stardust are prime examples and act as glimmers of hope to any artist undertaking the chart equivalent of a trek up Mt. Everest.
So how does ‘Love Love’ stack up? It’s a bona-fide hit, that’s for sure, but is it any good? It certainly seems a bizarre combination, to have a film like X-Men: First Class fronted by a unashamedly camp, production-on-poppers, electro-stomper like ‘Love Love’.
Well, Gary and the clan are clearly out to prove their transition from balladeering vocal group to macho man band with synths and drum machines further still, whilst still employing immensely catchy vocal and instrumental melodies and more of the cryptic, post-apocalyptic lyricism that plentifully featured on ‘Progress’. It’s a genius idea – to marry electrifying accompaniment with lyrics like “This is a first class journey from the Gods to the Son of Man”; you certainly wouldn’t catch JLS singing anything of that lyrical calibre.
Armed with a militant, dark production and buzzing synth accompaniment, Take That are continuing down the route of generating their market. “You bring me right back down to the Earth from the promised Land”, Gary growls in vocoder-assisted voice, and one that also serves up the goods when used on Mark’s unmistakably wheezy vocals. Gary soon picks up again in the form of another chorus of camp, Pet Shop Boys-styled electropop that firmly cements itself in your head. The whole song sounds flamboyant as a picnic basket but, at the same time, very sinister with the glaring similarities with some of Muse’s later work.
There’s no video yet… I wonder if it’ll be better than the ‘Kidz’ video, which, at by about 1:00, was shaping up to be a very nice indeed. However, it did all go a bit flaccid the moment you realised all the boys were going to do when they landed on Earth was sing and dance a bit, with Robbie on bicycle try with his best Serious Face on.
‘Love Love’ is, in short, a very good soundtrack single. And one that would slot very nicely on ‘Progress’ in place of some other inferior tripe such as the pointless ‘Wait’ or possibly ‘Underground Machine’, an equally cam affair but one that never really pleased nearly half as much. Some may say ‘Love Love’ tries to take itself too seriously, but the overuse of falsetto and super-bouncy production suggest otherwise.
So yes, this looks set to be a hit. It may not replicate the same success ‘Rule The World’ received, but some people are just hard to please. It’s time UK pop acts took back our chart from the Americans.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Download: March 11, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘X Men: First Class – The Soundtrack’