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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Track-by-Track: The Wanted - EP

If One Direction are the new 'Nsync in the modern battle of the boybands, The Wanted are the new Backstreet Boys--more mature melodically, less punchy musically. They've already released two great albums filled with modern pop music, but I've never reviewed either of them on here, so I thought it might be fun to look at their first American EP, which is basically a Greatest Hits up to this point (with a couple of non-hits tacked on). Because of this, it's already got a leg up on most albums. After all, the Wanted are a strong singles group.

1. Glad You Came - The lead single from their second UK album, and the one that broke them in America. It's an addictive slice of tropical euro-pop and definitely Summer appropriate. Not their best, but close. 10/10

2. Chasing The Sun - Pretty much, "Glad You Came" part two, but I actually think I like this one better. One of the two "new" tracks on the album, this definitely deserves its single status. It's just ridiculously catchy. 10/10

3. All Time Low - Their breakthrough single, and still their best. Basically, what Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" was for alternative music, this is for pop (though I'm aware that describing Coldplay as "alternative" is pretty ridiculous, but you get the point). If there's any justice, this should be a US single. It's too good to go unknown. 10/10

4. Satellite - One of the "new" tracks on the album, this Ryan Tedder written track feels a little generic. I don't know... the melody just doesn't do anything all that interesting. Though it's nice to have a new track, I'd rather they would have included the excellent "I'll Be Your Strength" from the second UK album. 8/10

5. Lightning - Not my favorite single, but certainly not bad. I loved the melody the first few times I heard it, but it wore thin pretty quickly. I think they could've done something more interesting with the production. Still, overall the pros definitely outweigh the cons. 9/10

6. Heart Vacancy - I never understood why this was their second single after the brilliant "All Time Low." It's just such a basic boyband ballad. I've grown to like it much more than I used to, but it doesn't exactly stand out. 8/10

7. Gold Forever - The first time they really experimented with a dancier sound (paving way for "Glad You Came") and it's an utter triumph. The lyrics are a bit naff, but the band has always had pretty horrible lyrics. The song itself is magic. 10/10

8. Lose My Mind - The third single from their debut, and definitely one of their most underrated singles. It sounds a bit like what Kings Of Leon would sound like if they went pure pop. Excellent. 10/10

9. Warzone - A slower, dubstep influenced track from the second UK album. I don't remember this doing much on the charts. They definitely have better ballads, not that this is horrible or anything. 8/10

10. Rocket - I find it weird that, of all the non-singles they could've added to this last slot on the album, they chose this one. Maybe it's because some of the vocals sound mysteriously Backstreet Boys-esque? I love the production on this, but I would hardly consider it an album-standout. They've got a few 10/10 tracks they could have picked. Still, this gets a 9/10

Album Grade: 9.2/10

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