The Wanted - 'All Time Low'
I cannot tell you how much confusion it has caused, simply having a band releasing a song which is also the name of a band who also have a song out. It has felt, at times, like my grip on reality itself is slipping. I look down the list of songs, knowing full well there is a new boyband called the Wanted and there is a pop-punk band called All Time Low, and knowing that the Wanted have a song called 'All Time Low' and All Time Low have a song called 'Weightless'. I KNOW these are two different things. This is not something I have a problem differentiating.
The problem comes when I settle down into the big comfy ChartBlog reviewing suite - it's a plush leather armchair with a matching foot-resting-stool thing - and try to decide which current hot pop waxing I am going to give the benefit of my considerable wisdom.
"All Time Low?", I think, with an addled squint, "they've got a song called 'The Wanted'? Did I miss that?"
"Now then, let's play this song by the Wanted. Wait, what's this? This isn't pop-punk at all! I should WRITE A LONG BLOG ABOUT THIS VER FAC...oh wait, I've got them muddled up again."
(And here is the band called All Time Low performing 'Weightless'. See? Very different.)
Now, for a transparent piece of silly old pop music, this has class cooties. The telltale signs are there in the string riff, and the mature, subtle way they approach the singing, and the restraint with which they have applied the autotune. And the fact that the lyrics all rhyme and have proper rhythm to them (looks long and hard at Fugative). We're not dealing with a bunch of kids here, this is a more mature form of boyband. A nearly-manband, if you like.
In fact it would be fair to say that this is to shameless boyband pop what a home-made burger in a hand-cooked bun is to the humble McDonalds. In some ways it's not as much fun, but you can't deny it's better for you.
What's fascinating is the fact that boybands once took their cues from early Take That - the five lads in a line, the cheeky scamps, the backflips - and now, in order to even exist, they have to take their cues from latter-day Take That - the five (since Robbie rejoined) men in tweed, the stately dignity, the walking about industrial areas in the mist.
But it's all fine really, when you've got the songs. This is good. And even if the best bit shamelessly pinches its melody from Coldplay's 'The Scientist' - a song which seems to have been responsible for 56% of all melody in the naughties - it does at least do it while boasting a memorable line, with a devilish internal rhyme which more than makes up for it:
"I'm in pieces, seems like peace is the only thing I'll never know"
See what I mean? That's classy. Which is more than I can say for...*carefully examines list* ...the band who have the same name as this song.
Download: Out now
Family Affairsr and other matters says: "Personally, I think it will be the No.1 single within the month."
Teen Today says: "It's vibrant and exciting and definitely one of the better new boyband songs from the last few years."
Really Rich says: "I'm attracted!"