Hello, and welcome to Radio Rants! Hit the music!
What’s a “The Wanted”? No, really, who are these guys? Is this some other indie band that managed to stumble into the Top Ten ala Foster the People and fun.? A tribute group to the graphic novel/shitty action flick Wanted? Something European?
Oh, the vile, plague-borne pox of pop music, this is a boy band. With harmonies of stillborn cherubs, lutes of synthesisa, and appeal of putrid tap water, back, back unto the shadowy depths of 1999 from whence you were wrought! Heavens that wrought Win Butler and Thurston Moore, why is this aural pestilence present in 2012?
If I’m forced into it in a group, I can still will myself through a Backstreet Boys or N*Sync song through sheer nostalgia, but the transparent commercialism, unsalted cracker blandness, and more cheese than cheese-whiz lameness makes for really bad music. And I’m only bringing the late 90’s into this because that era of teen pop was the second thing that came to mind when I heard “Glad You Came” (the first, of course, being “that’s what she said”).
After pretending to not be club pop for twenty seconds, the music to “Glad You Came” turns into your standard vaguely Latin-tinged club pop jam that’s been somewhat popular for the past year or so. Somewhat sedate verses, more thumping chorus…even if the beat is a little more lively than other songs, “Glad You Came” doesn’t do anything new, different, or interesting. At the very least, that means it doesn’t do anything bad, but it doesn’t do anything good, either, aside from the main hook sounding just enough like an accordion to amuse me.
God, I can’t take this seriously. I think it’s that, in 9 cases out of 10, being in a boy band is shorthand for saying “Fuck it, we don’t care if it’s the lamest way to pop stardom; write our songs, pick our clothes, anything” (that one exception? Justin Timberlake). Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure The Biebs has handlers for everything from his breakfast cereal to his pajamas, and every word that’s come out of Katy Perry’s mouth is more scripted and rehearsed than Celebrity Apprentice. But hell, at least with other pop stars, there’s at least some charisma involved; in boy bands, everyone just fades into the background. I can’t tell any of these Wanted chumps apart.
Ok, getting off the soapbox and back to the song at hand…I really don’t know which one of these guys is which. I can kind of tell what voice is singing at different parts of the song, but it doesn’t exactly impact things as much as you think it would. For example, “Glad You Came” is perhaps the least harmonious song by a boy band I’ve ever heard. Guys, the entire selling point of your music is “Look, five guys who are vocally talented!”, why is only one of you singing at a time? Try to work the harmonies guys, it’s not that hard.
And, of course, “Glad You Came” is as bad lyrically as you’d imagine. First of all, it sets three stanzas on a loop, the first two being 1. bullshit imagery (“The sun goes down/The stars come up”) and 2. “I Like You” fair (“You cast a spell on me, spell on me”). And the third set might be my favorite part of the song just because of how bad it is.
“Turn the lights out now/Now I’ll take you by the hand” What, are you giving one of the extras for the video stage directions?
“Hand you another drink/Drink it if you can” Well shit, if I was getting hit on by who sounds like the least talented member of The Wanted, I’d need another drink, too. Also, c’mon dude: you sound like you’re just trying to get her drunk so she’ll leave with you. You’re near Enrique levels of Club Creeper.
“Stay with me I can make/Make you glad you came”. Come where? Your place? The funeral home? Old Lady Florence’s? La discoteca? La biblioteca? Where did she come?
Maybe it’s just my inner fifteen year old talking, but throwaway “That’s what she said” joke aside, “Glad You Came” is way more amusing/bearable if you read it as some twerp being happy he was finally able to get his girlfriend off. The joke’s especially funny considering that most of the group (except Buzzcut Dude) errs more on the British JoBros side of purity.
But no, as it stands, “Glad You Came” is your normally trite club pop that’s already sounding dated, with an added cheesy factor. I don’t know what made this song stand out chart on this side of the Atlantic, but here’s one British Invasion I can’t wait to see disappear.