Reviewing a album by a boy band is like reviewing a kid's movie: typically they're lacking in both depth and complexity, but if they thoroughly entertain their target audience should you really expect much more?
Such is the case with the British boy band, The Wanted and their new EP. "The EP" is a seven-song affair with little musical sophistication and the lyrics are simplistic and repetitive, but for a pop/dance album it's catchy and guaranteed to get their teen fans singing and grooving along.
"Glad You Came" kicks off the album with a few a capella lines followed by some encouraging zydeco riffs before turning into a predictable dance song with a decent hook. Some sample lyrics include: "The sun goes down, the stars come out, and all that counts is here and now, my universe will never be the same, I'm glad you came." Listen to it five times and it will lodge in your brain forever.
"Chasing the Sun" has lots of synth swirls and electronic beats essential for most current pop music. It's got a few blues vocal lines that make you wish they had found an R&B diva to lend the song some real character and energy.
"All Time Low" cleverly starts off with same basic orchestral riffs as The Magnificent Seven and is probably the best song on the EP, with its catchy refrain, "I'm in pieces!" After its promising start it does venture into the over-produced dance world by the end.
One of the more surprising things about The Wanted is there's one certifiable hottie in the band, and another good looking guy, but the other three are admirably not great eye-candy.
The insipid song, "Satellite," will likely get the tween girls clapping their hands over their heads, with its galloping rhythm track, but isn't much of a groundbreaker. "Lightning" is reminiscent of One Direction, their rivals for the hearts of teen girls on both sides of the Atlantic these days.
The romantic ballad, "Heart Vacancy" is a welcome change of pace but only because it's a different tempo from the other songs. "You were hurt, but I decided you were worth the fight, every night you lock up, you won't let me come inside." Five guys singing about the girl who broke up with one (or all?) of them, and wouldn't let them "come inside"?
I'm guessing if you're listening to these songs on an Atlantis cruise or as a 14-year-old in her room, this infectious album will be an instant classic. For most others, it will be less life changing.
The final song on the disc, "Gold Forever," is the likely result of the band's career - if they can appeal to enough fans for a few years now, the reunion tours should keep the cash rolling in for decades to come.