Single Review: The WANTED – ‘Heart Vacancy’

Well, it looks like they did it: they officially made boybands ‘cool’ again. Backstreet Boys must be miffed right now.

So, after ‘All Time Low’s bit of brilliance, bit of madness, bit of cringe-worthy, with added bit of awkward video acting shocked us (ahem) with it’s #1 charting, The WANTED now face that age old challenge that presents all new acts on the rise – do they attempt to replicate their previous success by sending out the same sort of song, or go out on a whim and try something new?

Well, it would seem they’ve tried something new, only they haven’t. ‘All Time Low’ was something new; it was an odd type of ballad/thumping pop song that started with strings, then got bigger, then decided it wanted to stay quiet, then decided it was going to be loud, but at the same time, it decided to be something completely unpredictable and riotous.

‘Heart Vacancy’, whilst it tries to be something new and amazing, is not as convincingly executed as their previous single, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s certainly not the conventional boyband ballad, with big vocals and big instrumentation and big choirs at the end and a big key change two-thirds in, with the four compulsory piano chords for the backing (yes, I’m looking at YOU, Westlife). Instead, it moves along to a simple piano melody, a dissonant violin and a sonic-sounding beat to drive the whole thing; very unconventional, much in the same way their last single was.

You see, there was something enjoyable about ‘All Time Low’ that countered what may have been viewed as not so nice; there was some nifty lyricism such as the internal lyrics – “I’m in pieces/It seems like peace is the only thing I’ll never know”, but with this, all you’ve got is a drone-y sounding middle eight for Jay – “When I-I-EE-YI-I/Talk to YOO-OO-OO-WOO-OU/On the PHO-O-OO-WO-ONE”, in a weird, snorey voice that’s not quite as enticing as the chorus or even the very good, stoppy-starty verses. However, the majority of the other lyrics are very good, particularly the “Those no shows/They sure show/In the way you hold yourself” bit that comes just before the second bridge and manages to steer clear of the “Everybody’s SO happy! La dee da! Love is easy!”-type lyrics JLS are so fond of.

It’s clear The WANTED have a diverse back-story behind how they got into group, and what the song may mean to them, but what I found particularly interesting about the video is that the song is clearly bringing back these memories for them; not sure what these memories are but the very fact Max is looking a little sulky and down in luck and love whilst Siva and Nathan are grinning like Cheshire Cats through the during of the prolonged ‘sit-down-on-a-step-and-look-serious’ moment, suggest they’re not very good when it comes to group rapport.

The video was shot in Moldova. You might want to take a seat before you watch this though: everyone else seemed to have done so already. QUICK! FIND A SEAT BEFORE THE FILM STARTS.

At least this time I won’t pull a muscle trying to do the ‘All Time Low’ move they did in their last video.

Conclusively speaking (is that even grammatically correct?), The WANTED have done something new, in the sense that it’s a boyband ballad that doesn’t conform to the typical Westlife style of wailing heartfelt lyrics in the middle of some desolate wasteland, but at the same time, it’s not quite as innovative, or well-written as ‘All Time Low’ was (their first single was written by Ed Drewett, who collaborated with Professor Green on ‘‘I Need You Tonight’. He also has a new single, ‘Champagne Lemonade’, out soon).

End Note: Yes, that was a plug for Ed Drewett. So use it wisely and LOOK HIM UP.

Rating: 3.0 STARS

Download: October 18, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘The Wanted’

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