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The Saturdays - 'Missing You'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:39 UK time, Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Saturdays

A controversial song, this. And one which has cause more than a few ripples since it first escaped onto the internet a few weeks ago. People have been quietly asking each other if they've heard it, and if so, what they think, as if there needs to be a common agreement as to whether it is good or bad.

Something hidden deep in the song's DNA is engagingly bad, or worryingly good, and it's got everyone's quality alarms jangling like a wind-chime in a hurricane. And it's not just about the song. People are now wondering whether, if it IS bad, it represents final proof that the band who gave us the (still) amazing 'Up' have lost their way as a potent pop force.

So, before we find ourselves in the middle of a pop vigilante mob, setting fire to the Sundays' lawn by mistake, let's have a good look at this thing, and see if we can't get to the root of the problem.

(Here's the video. Scunthorpe has never looked so good.)

Now, it's probably fair to say the key line here is "I miss missing you". It's the main bit of the chorus, and of course it sounds like gibberish at first listen. So if you can stomach that - and a fair few people have already fallen at the first hurdle - you're probably well on the way to enjoying the whole thing.

If you're a little lost as to what it means, it suggests a mournful feeling about a long-dead relationship which you suddenly realise you don't even remember that well, and this makes you sad. But no, this is about a current relationship which has lost its fire, and as Rochelle so bluntly explains, "love is only true if it hurts".

Ergotherefore, what you miss is the feeling of anguish you once had when you had to be seperated, because even THAT would prove there was some kind of chemistry still there.

Naturally, the people who want to write the band off are keen to see an ironic parallel between the lyrics of the song and their current predicament. "Hah!", they sneer, "we miss missing you too, now you're all BACK and RUBBISH!". But that's sneery and rude, so we'll have none of that here.

What we will have here is a moment of appreciation for the bit where they sing "begging to get back together", because that's an undeniable peak in a song which is constantly building towards something. It's slow, moody, ponderous, a little bit boring at times, but when it gets to that bit, it's like you've finally pulled your bike over the top of the hill and you're starting to accelerate down the other side. That's the good bit.

On the other hand, the verses are overblown and daft. And crucially, the little quirks on the voices - Frankie's too-thick autotune, Mollie's croak, Vanessa's slightly blocked-up nose - are sometimes louder than the voices themselves.

Still and all, it's a grower. I've a feeling that even the most snarky of disappointed Sats fans could still find themself having a bit of a moment with that chorus, given the right circumstances.

As for whether it spells doom for the group in the long-run...well I hope not. Not until Girls Aloud bury the hatchet at any rate...

Three starsDownload: August 9th

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

The Sound Radar says: "It feels like an element is missing."

Melismatic says: "It is continuing The Satz downhill slant into Hot AC territory with yet another mid-tempo sparkler."

The Beat Review says: "It's actually better than 'Forever Is Over' which I think was overly done"


  • Comment number 1.

    I can't believe you're letting the beach-break-up-dance-routine go unchecked in this review! Other than that, pretty much spot on.

  • Comment number 2.

    Another frustratingly average song from the girls. They've never properly built on their first album success the way they should of. The 2nd album should of been preceded by a monster of a song that blew us all away (of which Girls Aloud and Sugababes have had loads), but instead we got the poor Forever Is Over. They've had another chance now and they haven't taken it.

    This is a nice song, but that's it - just nice. Nothing special, memorable, or remarkable in any way. And what's with all the auto-tune at the start?

    It will obviously do well in the charts on it's first week because it's The Saturdays, but whether it becomes a big seller, and more importantly, whether it encourages people to buy the album, is another issue.

    It'll be like before - Forever Is Over got a poor reception but it reached no.2 on the first week, yet only spent about 5 weeks in the chart. And we know what happened next with the album. I can see a similar thing happening this time round.

  • Comment number 3.

    My thoughts exactly . This song is pedestrian and does not contain enough magic to win over thousands of casual listeners . ANOTHER opportunity missed ! Somebody please give these girls a 5 star song ! The only 5 star things about this band , are their hair and make up ! The public are starting to realise that The Saturdays are a two dimensional act . The clock is ticking girls !

  • Comment number 4.

    In my eyes ,they lack depth and soul ! Their songs are more shallow than a river during a severe drought !

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm with kutox and spirit here, the girls need a defining hit. They can't rely on 'Up' and 'Ego' any longer, they needed a song that would elevate them out of "Girls Aloud knock-off" dub they've been given

    'Missing You' is a good song, but is by no means a good lead single.

    3 stars.

  • Comment number 6.

    Oh, I forgot to give a rating...



  • Comment number 7.

    Someone knows how to copy and paste.. ;)

    How are the Digital Spy Forums these days? Stil clogged up with pointless thread about artist selling themselves short? :L:L

  • Comment number 8.

    You know what... funny thing is, it was over a week ago I saw someone use those stars, and so I went and searched for them on Google, just so I can't be accused of stealing or anything (bit silly, I know). I've had them on my computer since then but I just hadn't bothered using them until this evening. And I didn't even notice that the thread where the stars were originally used had been bumped up again. No joke! Anyway yeah that's how I found out about them. Thought they would be quite useful on here with everyone giving their ratings.

    As for Digital Spy forums, well, the other day I got into what I think was the most heated debate I've ever been in on any forum! Unsurprisingly it was about Lady Gaga, and someone was making all these patronising remarks about her and her fans, basically looking for ANY little excuse to have a dig, without any proper reason. Think the argument went on for about 3 pages. Was quite funny :) Other than that, you do get some silly threads and comments but it often makes for some fun debates. We discuss a lot of different things. Some of you guys should join us over there sometime ;)

  • Comment number 9.

    I would because I do check in occasionally to read what's going on and I must saay, you and about one other user are the only one's who make sense when they post! :L

    I would really love to jion but unfortunately I don't have a PayPal account so the verification fee can't be paid.

  • Comment number 10.

    Haha thanks, well I do try to make sense ;) One of the things I always make sure to do when making my point is cover all corners - give every reason for saying something while not leaving myself open to being called a hypocrite on another issue, if that makes sense.

    Shame you can't join DS, somehow I thought the initial £5 payment might be the issue. That's one of the annoying things about DS forums. Luckily for me I started a PayPal account only about a week before I made my DS account, which was pure coincidence as I had no idea you had to pay before I went to sign up.

  • Comment number 11.

    Kutox , I am also no stranger to lively debates about Lady Gaga .

    It was my first fiery involvement on Chart Blog , with Fraser's review of Poker Face ,

    Ah , those were the days ! :)

  • Comment number 12.

    At 11, are you suggesting Spirit that these aren't the days? Surely they still are?

  • Comment number 13.

    "It feels like an element is missing"

    Palladium? As in, not worthy of performing at the London...

    Boom Boom!

  • Comment number 14.

    Ouch, thranjax. :L

    It's funny that a lot of artists that are coming back onto the music scene - and new artists too - have released lead singles that just aren't as good as second singles I've heard from the album.

    The Hoosiers - 'Choices' over 'Bumpy Ride' (seriously, this is one of the best songs I've heard all year)
    Katy Perry - 'California Gurls' over 'Teenage Dream'
    The Saturdays - 'Missing You' over 'Higher'
    Kylie Mingue - 'All The Lovers' over 'Aphrodite'
    HURTS - 'Wonderful Life' over 'Illuminated'
    The WANTED - 'All Time Low' over 'Heart Vacancy'

    The chosen lead singles are good, but the follow-ups, confirmed or unconfirmed, do have much more commercial appeal. It seems it's not only The Saturdays that mess up their single releases.

  • Comment number 15.

    @ 11. In those days I was merely a lurker on this site! :)

  • Comment number 16.

    yea this song is rub... looking forward to the new hoosiers album even more now... btw i think i saw it reviewed a while back but 4th of July by Kelis is an awesome awesome track.. sounds like deadmau5 might have produced it (he didnt btw, it was DJ ammo)

    speaking of deadmau5 i hope he makes a speedy recovery after collapsing on stage the other day... surprised its the first time really as he always wears that massive red mouse head every time he performs...

  • Comment number 17.

    I kinda like this song but it's no 'up' D:
    I can listen to it, but it's definitely too casual.

  • Comment number 18.

    This song is too wishy-washy and has no balls !

  • Comment number 19.

    I think the new song and MV is very excellent. so I give to 4 stars.

  • Comment number 20.

    Dear LORD!!! And I thought Justin Bieber fans were annoying! (well ok they still are). Fans of The Saturdays are seriously winding me up at the moment! The amount of them over on DS who are ridiculously desperate for Missing You to get to no.1 this week has surprised me. I thought they would be better than that.

    Many of them are saying things like 'I've bought 3 copies so far, let's all do the same to get them to no.1!!' While at the same time admitting they don't even like the song. 'Oh but they must get to no.1 at last because they deserve it!' What's worse, apparently the group's management have told the girls to tell fans on Facebook to change their status to "download Missing You out now on iTunes!" in order to win a 'signed postcard set'. How unbelievably cynical. Could they be any more desperate? I mean, whatever happened to songs getting in the chart on merit, because people actually like the song?

  • Comment number 21.

    But wait, even if it does get to #1, does that make it any better? If you ask me it makes it worse, because it's only another undeserving #1 to add to this year's already appaling list.

    I'm wishing for Flo Rida to beat them, purely because it'd be hilarious to see that The Saturdays have been beaten to the top spot by Flo Rida for two years running! :L

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm still hoping that the newly released video for 'Love the Way You Lie' (which is a corker, probably because it has Megan Fox in it) will help push it up to #1

    And @ 20, no fans are worse then JLS', I meanI'm suprised they haven't been trying to 'Missing You' to number one, seeing as one of the members is 'romantically involved' with Rochelle, seeing as they're already voting madly to keep JJ in Big Brother just because he's rumoured to be friends with aston! Can't get worse then that!

  • Comment number 23.

    Please Flo-Rida . keep the bland "Missing You" from number 1.

    As the whole world is probably aware , the Saturday's track is somehow (see 20) , experiencing an abnormal sales surge in the last couple of days .

    Even one of my tabloid buddies is reporting that :

    "Missing You is on course for number 1 , despite being incredibly bland . "

    There are strange forces afoot .

    Time to get the Flo-rida street team in action !!! lol

  • Comment number 24.

    @21 That's the thing isn't it? It would just be a totally unmerited no.1 - dare I say it somewhat similar to the X Factor types. That's what I keep trying to say to those desperate fans, but they don't want to know.

    Wherever it ends up in the charts, it will still be completely forgotten about in a few months - just like Forever Is Over has been despite reaching #2. Can't say the same for most of Girls Aloud and Sugababes' hit songs - even the ones that didn't reach #1.

    The Saturdays, their management, and the fans, seem to have completely forgotten what really matters. I've been a fan of them since the start, but I'm getting fed up of waiting for them to deliver a real defining hit, and what they are doing this week is making me like them even less.

  • Comment number 25.

    LOL, Spirit you really don't like The Saturdays do you? You're normally quite neutral or complimentary about most acts but seem to really dislike these girls musical output. As it happens, I agree with you. Missing You is a terribly dull, 1 STAR song. Absolutely awful, I haven't warmed to it since its release.


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