Single Review: The Reason 4 – ‘Take It All’

“These guys don’t just want to fly – they want to soar, so in a way it’s unfortunate that instead we see them fall flat on their noses”

2 STARS

Digital Release: August 7, 2011

Physical Release: N/A

Anyone who cares to remember – and let’s be honest, who does? – any of The X Factor’s casualties during it’s process of finding ‘the most talented’ of each year’s crop of fame-hungry hopefuls will remember the harmonic group/Westlife wannabes The Reason. They were unsuccessful in the Judge’s Houses round of last year’s competition and have since re-branded themselves as The Reason 4 due to legal issues with their name. Back with début single ‘Take It All’, the self-proclaimed manband hope to re-invigorate their chances at a music career via a joint contract with none other than Sony/ATV Music, and with a self-penned song, no less.

It all sounds very promising; a contract like that. Promising up until the point when you hear the song and find it’s actually a very standard slice of middle-of-the-road pop that could’ve been sung by any number of 90’s boybands that managed to get the public looking at them for a few moments in their hey-day. Opening to a clunking piano loop, things look up for a bit when you realise auto-tune has been kept at bay, but at almost exactly thirty seconds in, the use of the term manband becomes as good as prohibited thanks to some eye-watering falsetto, which soon leads onto a chorus where the most faux-preaching lyrics this side of the millennium can be found – “Let the whole world sing it along with me/You can be who you want to be”, they sing anonymously, under the illusory impression this is the kind of material that makes for a good début single in this day and age.

And the chorus, when it finally decides to arrive, is presumably meant to deliver that moment of awe-inspiring grandiose. I mean, these guys don’t just want to fly – they want to soar, so in a way it’s unfortunate that instead we see them fall flat on their noses. It tries to be anthemic and fails; the shimmering synths trying to signal some kind of urgency and the needless strings are supposedly there to create extravagance amongst rags and give the thing a polished feel. Problem is, it’s like trying to polish mud, and the whole song would be better off without the glitzy, shining production as it ends up as a dated Westlife rejection that’ll struggle hard to find a place in today’s music scene and even harder to find it’s way towards the charts.

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