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The Saturdays ft. Flo Rida - 'Higher'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:23 UK time, Monday, 4 October 2010

The Saturdays

Mollie, Frankie and company exist within quite a strange push-me pull-you existence at the moment, don't you think?

It's impossible to get a handle on quite what is going on - whether they're hitting a firm, purposeful stride or passing their peak - because there's a constant stream of incontrovertible facts* which support either argument, and it seems you're not allowed to just shrug and let them get on with it.

To make matters even more confusing, the facts seem to be arriving in alternating waves, like a game of Good News, Bad News.

It goes something like this:

Bad news! 'Missing You' isn't a very good song. Everyone knows it, and they talk about it on the internet.

Good news! Actually it gets a lot better with repeated listens, and has managed to linger in the Top 40 for a period which chart experts refer to as "flipping ages".

Bad news! 'Headlines' isn't really an album. It's an EP which has been padded out with old album tracks and singles.

Good news! There are some nice new songs on it. Two, to be precise: 'Higher' and 'Died in Your Eyes'. All the girls need to do is whack one of those out as a single, and all will be well!

(Here's the video. It's VERY Sesame Street.)

Bad news! All is not well. Flo Rida seems to have been roped in, somewhere down the line. This is because he has twice kept the girls from the No.1 spot, and there's an element of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Plus he isn't exactly choosy about whose records he will appear on. Everyone knows this, and they talk about it on the internet.

Good news! 'Higher' is a great single, irrespective of guest appearances or chart placing. It's been in the chart pretty much ever since the album came out.

Bad news! The video, while charming, does slightly push through the barrier that separates "WOW! I'm REALLY INTO this great song that I am singing!" from "OH GOD I HOPE NO-ONE CAN TELL I'M IN A BAD MOOD."

Good news! Flo Rida doesn't seem to be in it.

Dizzying, isn't it?

So it seems a safe bet that the girls will continue to walk a wobbly line through the rest of their time in the pop limelight. And I have to admit, the more they do so, the more I like 'em.

After all, what could be more boring than perfection?

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Unreality Shout says: "Higher is confident, fresh and uplifting, and you can't ask for much more than that from a pop single."

Digital Spy says: "The lesson here? Never underestimate a Saturday."

* Not facts. Just strongly held opinions.


  • Comment number 1.

    Brilliant review, Fraser!

    I don't get The Saturdays anymore, I mean I really don't. This is the first bit of positive news coming their way in a longgg time (since the rumour of a new album after just two singles, actually), and they've really botched it up if you ask me.

    'Higher' is a great song (as is 'Died In Your Eyes' - so glad we agree on that, Fraser :D), but with now that the album version has crept into the Top 40 and has been there for a few weeks, it's now beginning to fall because of it not being an official release.

    On top of that, the video without Flo Rdia is in high circulation of 4Music, VIVA, MTV etc., etc., so people are going to think that the album version without Flo Rida is the official release. It does make one wonder: when the official release comes around, are people going to bother buying the same song again? Especially seeing as Flo Rida's appearance just seems copy and pasted into it.

    I know what you're thinking: who cares? It's still sales, right? Well... yes... but this is Fascination.

  • Comment number 2.

    The song I can give to 4 stars.

  • Comment number 3.

    OH DEAR !

    Yet another two dimensional soul less single by The Saturdays !

    Will someone please write them a song with substance and staying power ??

    When will it happen ?

  • Comment number 4.

    It's already been done, many times, spirit. But they never released them, unless you count 'Issues', which has substance AND staying power.

    Chances are, 'Died In Your Eyes' will be the next single. You'll stop complaining then.

  • Comment number 5.

    lol . Issues was wetter than a waterlogged football pitch after a 24 hour downpour .

  • Comment number 6.

    No. It in fact wasn't. I can't stand the song but I respect it. 'Died In Your Eyes' is near-on faultless though, and it's not be cause it's a cover, becasue they really did put their own spin on it. Shockingly, it worked.

  • Comment number 7.

    LOL!Spirit, The Saturdays are the only band I've seen you take issue (;)) with. I really like 'Higher' - I think it's a great pop song in the same way that 'Up' and 'Ego'. And I think 'Higher' is their best single yet.

    And this is a girl band, Spirit! Apart from Sugababes 1.0 and Sugababes 2.0, name any contemporary boy or girl group that has a song with substance. You wouldn't be able to name one but I do look forward to what's sure to be a long string of comments.

  • Comment number 8.

    The reason I have issues with The Saturdays , and why they are not higher in my estimation , stems from a conversation I had with one of the staff of a very well known weekly glossy magazine , about a year ago.

    As Girls Aloud were taking a break , he said that The Saturdays would fill this void easily and provide his mag with the substitute coverage and garner the public interest.

    I stressed that The Saturdays singles output was incredibly weak , considering the amount of attention they were due to receive , and that all their singles were two dimensional and bland .
    This opinion has been vindicated in the incredibly poor sales of both their albums . (A true telling point of a bands substance ) Given the media coverage , their sales are disappointing.

    He disagreed , and said that The Saturdays would dominate the singles and albums charts while Girls Aloud were away . He now admits that this has not been the case .
    We have had a friendly ongoing battle of wits, ever since.
    And yes , he is also still waiting for THAT Saturdays single that will define their career , but because there is not another girl band dominating the charts (Sugababes Phase 17 apart ) , he has no choice but to focus on The Saturdays for his coverage .

    The band just seem to spend 23 hours in hair and make up , with one hour spent working on songs . I find many of their songs incredibly bland , and it seems like their souls are not really in it . They seem soulless.

    "Up" still remains their best song .

  • Comment number 9.

    Boy Girl band songs with substance ?

    The Wanted did it with their first one "All Time Low "

    An excellent melodic song with ascending and descending melodies , a huge chorus and some really perceptive heartfelt lyrics .

    "I'm in pieces , it seems that peace is , the only thing I'll never know. "

    The Saturdays have not come up with a better line than this in ANY of their singles .

    Heart Vacancy will be another big hit , and has more substance than the Saturday's singles . It's basis is strong songwriting , and I predict that The Wanted's debut album will outsell both Saturday's albums because of far stronger songwriting .

    Ok , lets move to Patience by Take That

    The comeback single with so much substance that it's parent album went 6 times platinum !
    A great song that is critically acclaimed as a great pop single .
    Have a google at how many songwriting awards that Gary Barlow has won or listen to some of the comments by his peers . He is one of the best songwriters of his generation , when it comes to pop songs.
    "Pray" is also one of my favourite Take That songs and "Greatest Day" has loads of layers and substance . An epic number 1 single .

    And moving on to Girls Aloud , "Love Machine" is such a layered little pop song with lashings of character , that The Arctic Monkeys could not wait to cover it !

    Can you imagine Alex Turner singing a Saturdays song ?

    Me neither !

  • Comment number 10.

    Good points spirit, but I don't think it's entirely fair to compare the album sales of boybands and girlbands - it's fair to say young boybands like The Wanted find it easier to shift albums because they have the advantage of teen fangirls who will buy whatever they release because they fancy them. I'm not generalising all boyband fans, or trying to be patronising, but it's true.

    Girlbands have it harder, and although they do often have young fans who are obsessed with the singles chart and will buy every single they release to try and get them high up in the charts (Missing You, anyone?), on the whole they have to really impress casual listeners with their singles to sell their albums, which is fair enough.

  • Comment number 11.

    What kutox expertly said just there.

    And while the lyric "I'm in pieces, it feels like peace is the only thing I'll never know!" is a great one, one could argue that The Saturdays 'Missing You' lyric "I miss missing you sometimes, I miss hurting you 'til you cry" has just as much depth in it. I find that with boy and girl bands, the bands can never show true depth because there's about four or five people to cater for in the band and they are all from different backgrounds and experiences. Unless your a talented songwriter like Gary Barlow, you're not going to be able to unleash depth.

    Let's face it, spirit! Boy and girl bands are market tools used to sell to hormonal teenagers. Take That are an exception, I'll give you that but the primary goal for them (back in the old days, not so much now) was to look super sexy and/or fashionable, adorn the walls of teenage girls and create catchy pop songs. These qualities were put before songs with depth and three-dimensionality. Gary Barlow just happened to put his own experience into the lyrics. Contemporary pop groups such as The Wanted, JLS, The Saturdays and Girls Aloud will only release a song with depth in it once in a blue moon.

    You may like 'Love Machine', spirit, but it's a fun party song and nothing more. I do think that 'Call The Shots' has numerous amount of depth to it (mainly thanks to the girls themselves writing it) but that took them what...five albums into their career? I also have to say that Girls Aloud put an incredible amount of time into grooming too so it's unfair of you to single The Saturdays.

    The Saturdays have only released nine singles. In a music industry where people don't seem to care about personality (hello Taio Cruz and Flo Rida topping the charts), the Sats are only following current musical trends the same way Girls Aloud are. GA just had better pop songs. And I think many Saturdays songs have made some impact, 'Up' and 'Ego' are still played regularly on radio, 'Just Can't Get Enough' seems to be a staple of children's TV programmes and 'Issues' circulates on radio around Winter time.

    P.S. I'm not trying to push aside your opinion, Spirit. I just think this blog needs a good argument!

  • Comment number 12.

    Its good that you now agree that some boy / girl bands have released songs with depth , which was the original issue .

  • Comment number 13.

    Okay...fair enough but I still think that most YOUNG CONTEMPORARY BANDS release mainly two-dimensional songs.

  • Comment number 14.

    Yeah , you keep moving the goal posts Randy ! lol


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