Boy band leaves America wanting depth

“The Wanted”

Everyone turn off your radios and cover your ears! The British are coming!

OK, maybe they’re not all British, but it’s still another boy band trying to invade America’s airwaves with its shallow lyrics and mechanical melodies.

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And maybe it’s a self-titled extended play set rather than a full-length album, but that’s where it all starts. Pretty soon, The Wanted will be heard in clubs, cars and houses with more anticlimactic and annoyingly repetitive songs such as the group’s first stateside hit, “Glad You Came.”

However, with summer around the corner and boy bands making some kind of awkward comeback here in America, this selected-singles EP serves as a rather timely introduction to a country that is better off idolizing Justin Beiber for his wussy love songs and terrible attempts at using the word “swag.”

Essentially, the boys are just really good at matching a few rhyming syllables to a catchy techno pop beat. However, isn’t that what this music genre shoots for in the first place?

“Came” leads the set as the first song, but that’s a good thing because then it’s easy to find and skip. Next is “Chasing the Sun,” a lighthearted dance track that shows promise to become mainstream radio’s next victim with its one-word chorus and otherwise irrelevant lyrics.

None of the singers has an exceptionally amazing or distinguishable voice, and perhaps that is why they all take turns providing the tracks’ lead vocals.  At least this helps listeners to pick a favorite, though, as member Maximillian George leads some of the EP’s more successful songs.

“Lightning” is one of those songs, and it’s probably the most promising track in the set. Upbeat from the start, this song has a perkier adrenaline to its electro pop backbeats, and listeners can actually understand what the song is about.

If lyrics such as “When your lips touch mine / it’s the kiss of life, I know / I know that it’s a little bit frightening / we might as well be playing with lightning” aren’t the best way to convey the excitement and anxiety of a first kiss from an overgrown boy band’s perspective, then they should have left it back in 2000 with the pros.

Aside from “Lightning” and “All Time Low,” a displeasingly catchy single that entered the UK’s Billboard charts at No. 2 in late 2011, the boys don’t do much else right with this 10-song set.

And if a single play-through is too much to ask for proof, “Heart Vacancy” is pudding enough. This disappointing, yet expected, attempt at a love ballad is the epitome of unmemorable and anticlimactic, with screechy and awkwardly fluctuating vocals that shout over a very unexciting and monotonous melody.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether pop fans give The Wanted’s self-titled EP a listen. There are no epic hooks or vibrant verses, but a few of the effort’s singles are sure to hit the radios and clubs sooner or later.

Even if for only a season, at least the band will feel wanted.


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