The Saturdays - 'Up'
Popular music! WHY do you insist on throwing conundrums my way? Conundrums which are complicated enough to give Stephen Hawking a headache? All I have ever asked of you is that you give me a few cheap thrills now and again and keep the happy chemicals in my brain sloshing about. I just want your playful tickle in my ears and a steady supply of fish and hoops for my endolphins to enjoy. But oh no, that's not enough for you, you have to throw in a few curve balls to see if we're all paying attention, to see if anyone has just been PRETENDING to love you and what you do, and if they have, to weed them out and throw them away.
Take this song, for example. It's great. There's no question. It sounds like it is being sung by a team of close-harmony Rihannas, and people really like Rihanna, so someone has their finger on what is really going on right now with singing.
It's got a swing to it, and someone seems to be playing the same synth note over and over again, probably using their face, in a manner which suggests some obsessive-compulsive desire to see if it will fit all the way through, if it is played very often, and it more or less does. These are all reasons to cheer whenever the song is played on the radio.
There's even a comedy mis-heard lyric moment, in that people are having a tough time working out how the first line of the chorus goes. Is it "I'm ready for the lift up keep smelly meat" or "I'm ready for to lift up these smelly feet"? I'm sure it means something very profound to the teens in these slang-addled times, but what actually IS it?
But, to bring us back to the conundrum I mentioned earlier, what is going on in the world of popular music where a new band can release a record which sounds like it should be the comeback hit for another, better established band. A band like, say, the Sugababes.
And it's a record which, if it WAS by the Sugababes, would be hailed as a classic, another frostypop masterpiece in a long line of frostypop masterpieces. The kind of record which makes seasoned pop-watchers like me start to drone on about how this is exactly the kind of thing that the Sugababes should be doing instead of cashing in on a year-old TV commercial for a high street chemists...because we really KNOW WHAT THE KIDS WANT, MAAN.
...and yet, all the Saturdays have done is set their stall out as a (less sweaty) PCD-style girlband, with a Rihanna-y take on Sugababes pop. They're the followers, not the leaders. So how come the leaders aren't leading? How come the followers have got the sat nav and the steering wheel? Why is it so hard to keep up with who is good and who is not good?
Over to you Professor Hawking...I'm spent.
PS: Steve wishes it to be known that, in the official video to this song, he approves of the dance routine around the line "this is the final call for all destinations" a LOT.