Scouting For Girls - 'Famous'
Let's get the biggest issue out of the way first: I don't like it when singers criticise people who aren't singers for what they choose to do with their lives.
That applies just as much to anyone who writes a song sneering at people who work in nine-to-five jobs, as it does to people singing about how awful it is to want to be famous in this day and age. It's just plain bad manners.
The problem is, for a song like that to work you've got to take the person who is singing it out of the equation. It's fine to choose not to have a boring job, if that's in your power to do. It's fine to decide that you don't want to chase a life in the limelight, and to worry about a society that elevates public profile over talent and ability.
But it's a bit rich to be told off for being boring by a pop star (who is lucky enough to have a job which is not boring, paid for by boring people with jobs), and it's even MORE rich to be told society is daft because people want to be famous, by someone who wants to be famous.
I would take it from a doctor, or a teacher, but only if they did not put it into song form, as a way of launching a new career in entertainment.
(Here's the video. It's VERY literal.)
That aside, there are things which are quite good about this - mainly the churning 'Music Sounds Better With You' chords and the "whoo-hoo"s - and things which are not so great. Like the fact that it runs out of ideas two-thirds of the way through.
For a band who could previously hang their hat on being able to mix extreme sugary hookishness with emotive howlery (let me know if I'm getting technical here), this is too featherlight and silly to be convincing. And remember, I was the one saying 'This Ain't A Love Song' was a bit of a disappointment because it is too mature. I can take a LOT of silly.
I guess I like it better when the silly doesn't seem to be there to mask something more unpleasant, like a boorish dig at people who haven't paid their dues. The thing is, when it comes to fame, no-one has paid their dues. The good stuff you get is so far beyond a reward for what you did to get it, it's obscene, and the bad stuff (the REALLY bad stuff) is the kind of thing you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
The reality of being famous has got to be something like being psychic, and having to go about your business while listening to what everyone thinks about you all the time. No wonder you lose your sense of reality. Meanwhile, a man in a band is complaining because there's nothing on TV that he wants to watch.
Well, might I suggest he gets a DVD player? I hear The Wire is really good.
Teen First says: "has all the makings of a Summer anthem for the festival stages and beyond"
Popjustice says: We love how an attack on superficiality can be so crass and depthless."
Nickolarse says: "Less incisive, perhaps, than Lily Allen's lyrics on 'The Fear' but it still hits a few marks."