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The Wanted - 'All Time Low'

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:01 UK time, Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Wanted

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?"

or worse

"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."

(Here's the band called the Wanted performing 'All Time Low' on the 5:19 show.)

(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.

Four stars Download: Out now


(Fraser McAlpine)

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!"


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  • 1. At 11:26am on 22 Jul 2010, cremmler wrote:

    that internal rhyme really jumped out at me as well. really well-written pop here.
    i find it interesting that they decided to just take the drums out at one moment to slow down the momentum and not go the one republic half-time route.
    there's something very sophisticated about the whole package - well done to The Wanted and their producers.

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  • 2. At 11:59am on 22 Jul 2010, Haducon2 wrote:

    when I first heard this, I thought it was poor, forgettable typical trash.
    And now, after constant airplay on music channels, I know think it's average, forgettable trash.
    I mean, do we really need another boring, average boyband that no-one will really remember in a few years? Haven't we really had enough of them over the years? I thought that the age of trashy boy-bands and girl-groups were over, but now it seems it's slowly beginning to happen all over again...

    JLS, now these, I'm guessing the floodgates have opened for other manufactured trash to attempt to eclipse JLS' success, and the success this single will undoubtedly achieve for The Wanted.

    A lot better than anything JLS have done, but it's still forgettable and highly un original, but that's what the people seem to want these days.

    This will probably get in the top 5, whilst a song much more deserving and a lot better like 'Whataya Want From Me' will flop miserably because songs like this constantly flood up the airways. Such a shame.

    3 Stars

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  • 3. At 12:30pm on 22 Jul 2010, spirit wrote:

    The Wanted - "All Time Low"

    Forget the fact that this is a boyband , this is going to be a hit because of the strong vocal melodies running through this song .
    The main chorus hook is pop heaven .
    This has garnered support from T.V AND RADIO ,and is set to give the band a sizeable debut hit !

    (I could hear that this would chart high , on first listen , without knowing anything about the band , months ago , it was all about the power of the song .)

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  • 4. At 12:53pm on 22 Jul 2010, Adam Stocks wrote:

    I've never heard this on the radio...Seen it on TV a few times but its not blanket.

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  • 5. At 2:21pm on 22 Jul 2010, spirit wrote:

    Currently at my mothers for lunch on a rare day off . First thing she said to me as I walked through the door . "My darling , have you heard that all time low song ? I really like it ! " She knows a hit song , just like her son . lol And she IS talking about THE WANTED ! ;)

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  • 6. At 3:05pm on 22 Jul 2010, Oliviaaa987 wrote:

    Well, it's better than Westlife?

    Trouble is, one of my pet peeves is when pop acts such as these release "meaningful" and "heartfelt" songs, that they didn't even write. It feels so fake and pointless. Listening to a band like Say Anything, for example, you know that every song is truthful and that's what Max was feeling at the time. I love pop music as much as the next person, but keep it fun if you're not going to write the songs. I don't have any time for pretend feelings. Maybe the person who wrote the song was going through this, who knows.

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  • 7. At 3:17pm on 22 Jul 2010, OddOne wrote:

    I really like this song, it took a while to grow on me, and the first half of the video is quite awkward in the acting department, but the song itself is a hell of a lot more mature and grown-up than anything JLS have put out. No matter how 'heartfelt' JLS try to be, "She's the kind of girl you dream about, in magazines/Glossy magazines", is not going to cut the mustard.

    I give this song 4 stars; a strong début, that goes to uncharted territory by transforming from a string riff-lead ballad, into a near trance-y sound.

    And as Fraser so gladly pointed out, 'All Time Low's lyrics are of a far better quality than most other pop songs of late.

    Oh, by the way, The Wanted have written most of then songs planned for their début LP, this is one of two that they co-wrote, the original writer was Ed Drewett.

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  • 8. At 2:45pm on 24 Jul 2010, Adam Stocks wrote:

    Anyone heard of that new boy-band called 'S.O.S'? Now they are bad.
    Their first single 'Candy Girl' is like a rejected JLS track with lyrical atrocities such as 'Candy Girl is sweet like a mouth full of skittles, everytime I look at her she makes my mouth dribble'. Lovely.

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  • 9. At 4:15pm on 24 Jul 2010, spirit wrote:

    They sound like a band that either Kutox or Randy would love ! Not my cup of tea ! ;)

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  • 10. At 4:17pm on 24 Jul 2010, spirit wrote:

    I expect The Wanted to have an absolutely HUGE new entry with this song next Sunday . Contenders for Number 1 .

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