« Previous | Main | Next »

The Wanted - 'All Time Low'

Post categories:

Fraser McAlpine | 17:01 UK time, Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Wanted

I cannot tell you how much confusion it has caused, simply having a band releasing a song which is also the name of a band who also have a song out. It has felt, at times, like my grip on reality itself is slipping. I look down the list of songs, knowing full well there is a new boyband called the Wanted and there is a pop-punk band called All Time Low, and knowing that the Wanted have a song called 'All Time Low' and All Time Low have a song called 'Weightless'. I KNOW these are two different things. This is not something I have a problem differentiating.

The problem comes when I settle down into the big comfy ChartBlog reviewing suite - it's a plush leather armchair with a matching foot-resting-stool thing - and try to decide which current hot pop waxing I am going to give the benefit of my considerable wisdom.

"All Time Low?", I think, with an addled squint, "they've got a song called 'The Wanted'? Did I miss that?"

or worse

"Now then, let's play this song by the Wanted. Wait, what's this? This isn't pop-punk at all! I should WRITE A LONG BLOG ABOUT THIS VER FAC...oh wait, I've got them muddled up again."

(Here's the band called the Wanted performing 'All Time Low' on the 5:19 show.)

(And here is the band called All Time Low performing 'Weightless'. See? Very different.)

Now, for a transparent piece of silly old pop music, this has class cooties. The telltale signs are there in the string riff, and the mature, subtle way they approach the singing, and the restraint with which they have applied the autotune. And the fact that the lyrics all rhyme and have proper rhythm to them (looks long and hard at Fugative). We're not dealing with a bunch of kids here, this is a more mature form of boyband. A nearly-manband, if you like.

In fact it would be fair to say that this is to shameless boyband pop what a home-made burger in a hand-cooked bun is to the humble McDonalds. In some ways it's not as much fun, but you can't deny it's better for you.

What's fascinating is the fact that boybands once took their cues from early Take That - the five lads in a line, the cheeky scamps, the backflips - and now, in order to even exist, they have to take their cues from latter-day Take That - the five (since Robbie rejoined) men in tweed, the stately dignity, the walking about industrial areas in the mist.

But it's all fine really, when you've got the songs. This is good. And even if the best bit shamelessly pinches its melody from Coldplay's 'The Scientist' - a song which seems to have been responsible for 56% of all melody in the naughties - it does at least do it while boasting a memorable line, with a devilish internal rhyme which more than makes up for it:

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

See what I mean? That's classy. Which is more than I can say for...*carefully examines list* ...the band who have the same name as this song.

Four starsDownload: Out now


(Fraser McAlpine)

Family Affairsr and other matters says: "Personally, I think it will be the No.1 single within the month."

Teen Today says: "It's vibrant and exciting and definitely one of the better new boyband songs from the last few years."

Really Rich says: "I'm attracted!"


  • Comment number 1.

    that internal rhyme really jumped out at me as well. really well-written pop here.
    i find it interesting that they decided to just take the drums out at one moment to slow down the momentum and not go the one republic half-time route.
    there's something very sophisticated about the whole package - well done to The Wanted and their producers.

  • Comment number 2.

    when I first heard this, I thought it was poor, forgettable typical trash.
    And now, after constant airplay on music channels, I know think it's average, forgettable trash.
    I mean, do we really need another boring, average boyband that no-one will really remember in a few years? Haven't we really had enough of them over the years? I thought that the age of trashy boy-bands and girl-groups were over, but now it seems it's slowly beginning to happen all over again...

    JLS, now these, I'm guessing the floodgates have opened for other manufactured trash to attempt to eclipse JLS' success, and the success this single will undoubtedly achieve for The Wanted.

    A lot better than anything JLS have done, but it's still forgettable and highly un original, but that's what the people seem to want these days.

    This will probably get in the top 5, whilst a song much more deserving and a lot better like 'Whataya Want From Me' will flop miserably because songs like this constantly flood up the airways. Such a shame.

    3 Stars

  • Comment number 3.

    The Wanted - "All Time Low"

    Forget the fact that this is a boyband , this is going to be a hit because of the strong vocal melodies running through this song .
    The main chorus hook is pop heaven .
    This has garnered support from T.V AND RADIO ,and is set to give the band a sizeable debut hit !

    (I could hear that this would chart high , on first listen , without knowing anything about the band , months ago , it was all about the power of the song .)

  • Comment number 4.

    I've never heard this on the radio...Seen it on TV a few times but its not blanket.

  • Comment number 5.

    Currently at my mothers for lunch on a rare day off . First thing she said to me as I walked through the door . "My darling , have you heard that all time low song ? I really like it ! " She knows a hit song , just like her son . lol And she IS talking about THE WANTED ! ;)

  • Comment number 6.

    Well, it's better than Westlife?

    Trouble is, one of my pet peeves is when pop acts such as these release "meaningful" and "heartfelt" songs, that they didn't even write. It feels so fake and pointless. Listening to a band like Say Anything, for example, you know that every song is truthful and that's what Max was feeling at the time. I love pop music as much as the next person, but keep it fun if you're not going to write the songs. I don't have any time for pretend feelings. Maybe the person who wrote the song was going through this, who knows.

  • Comment number 7.

    I really like this song, it took a while to grow on me, and the first half of the video is quite awkward in the acting department, but the song itself is a hell of a lot more mature and grown-up than anything JLS have put out. No matter how 'heartfelt' JLS try to be, "She's the kind of girl you dream about, in magazines/Glossy magazines", is not going to cut the mustard.

    I give this song 4 stars; a strong début, that goes to uncharted territory by transforming from a string riff-lead ballad, into a near trance-y sound.

    And as Fraser so gladly pointed out, 'All Time Low's lyrics are of a far better quality than most other pop songs of late.

    Oh, by the way, The Wanted have written most of then songs planned for their début LP, this is one of two that they co-wrote, the original writer was Ed Drewett.

  • Comment number 8.

    Anyone heard of that new boy-band called 'S.O.S'? Now they are bad.
    Their first single 'Candy Girl' is like a rejected JLS track with lyrical atrocities such as 'Candy Girl is sweet like a mouth full of skittles, everytime I look at her she makes my mouth dribble'. Lovely.

  • Comment number 9.

    They sound like a band that either Kutox or Randy would love ! Not my cup of tea ! ;)

  • Comment number 10.

    I expect The Wanted to have an absolutely HUGE new entry with this song next Sunday . Contenders for Number 1 .

  • Comment number 11.

    I wouldn't say #1.. a definite Top 15 new entry is on the cards in my books.

  • Comment number 12.

    :O This song has been available for download for only three hours and it already sits very nicely at #22 on iTunes!

    Now come on, that just goes to show it's not just young, teenaged girls who like this song, because none of them would be up this late... or at least, if they were inside a house, not a club.

  • Comment number 13.

    Just so everyone knows I tipped this as a number 1 contender , way before any chart known was announced . People who understand music and its appeal can do this . People who cant can sometimes think there is some strange forces at work and question how its done . Was it not obvious weeks ago that this song would be huge ? It cant just be me who could hear it , surely ? Watch this song fly up that i tunes chart like an owl city song title .

  • Comment number 14.

    It's not that hard to predict the charts these days. I predicted more than half the #1 singles last year, well before they were released, and I'm no music expert. It's not difficult, nor does it take a great deal of knowledge about music. I've never thought of predicting the charts as some sort of skill or achievement.

  • Comment number 15.

    My hat goes off to kutox for FINALLY putting spirit in his place! :P I joke of course... I guess I'm just jealous.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well, perhaps I just know more than I think I do. I just thought that predicting the charts was something anyone with an interest in music could easily do, considering what the charts are like these days. Probably just my naivety. Maybe I should make more of a big deal about it from now on ;)

    For the record, I didn't predict this song would reach no.1, mainly because I hadn't heard it properly - and in fact I still haven't. But it was obvious it would do well because The Wanted have had a crazy amount of hype and coverage - they've been almost unavoidable. And considering their target audience, they were inevitably going to rope in thousands of fans.

  • Comment number 17.

    But granted it's a much better song than anything JLS have put out? Goes without answering to be honest.

    Anyhoo... This song is now #4 on iTunes... and it's ahead of 'Billionaire'.

  • Comment number 18.

    Well I can't say as I still haven't heard it yet, but it would be difficult to be any worse than JLS's songs, so fair play

  • Comment number 19.

    #3... :O By the way, 'Billionaire' has stalled at a very respectable #5.

  • Comment number 20.

    #2 now, it's only competition being 'We No Speak Americano', which topped the charts this week... and it's been #1 for about a week on iTunes, I'd like to see if it could hold off The Wanted...

    I fear spirit may be right about this song... a difinite contender for #1!

  • Comment number 21.

    number one next week.

    general rule of the official chart: take the previous week's number one on the big top 40 and there you go.

  • Comment number 22.

    :O NO WAY! #1 on the Big Top 40 already!? Oh well, guess it won't hurt to let you all know it's #1 on 7Digital, iTunes and HMV.

  • Comment number 23.

    Do we think Gary Barlow now realises that he's lost it?

  • Comment number 24.

    Kutox putting me in my place ???

    lol lol

    906 on Jedward , he suggests that he thinks Swedish House Mafia will be Sunday's number 1 . !!! lol

    Yeah , predicting the charts is easy and you need no knowledge of music !

    :) I am beeing light-hearted of course !!

  • Comment number 25.

    And Oddone can I remind you off your comment @ 11 , where you say The Wanted would not get to number 1 , and that a top 15 debut was more likely .

    Just a few words on that !!

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!

    See you Sunday buddy !!!!

    Ha ha ha ha .

    *My sides are hurting now *


  • Comment number 26.

    All Time Low (the SONG) gets a great write up and brilliant comments Fraser SO WHY are the BBC not playing it?

  • Comment number 27.

    Good call Robster .
    Despite lack of support from Radio 1, this song has been largely embraced by commercial stations and is well inside the TOP 30 radio airplay chart .

    It's not yet in the top 30 tv airplay chart , but I predict ( ha ha ha ) that it soon will be.


  • Comment number 28.

    @ 25

    I couldn't stop an embarrassed smile creep across my face when I was reading that. :L:L

    Okay okay, you win. Again. I just never saw it as an instant #1 when I first heard it, despite it growing on me.

    *Claps for spirit*

  • Comment number 29.

    Oh and don't worry Robster, I'm sure once Radio 1 realise they haven't playlisted the current #1 for thinking it's 'not cool enough', they'll be the one's getting a kick in the teeth from the public.

  • Comment number 30.

    @28 Odd , I could almost feel your delight in your thinking it would stay at number 22 on the i-tunes chart .

    I said it would fly up that chart like an Owl City number 1 single.
    And your recent posts and screams of disbelief , as it has done so in the space of a few hours , have been comedy gold !!!

    Ha ha !

    Love you buddy .
    Thanks for the love too , I was beginning to feel like public enemy number 1 here .

    *wallows in a pool of self-pity*

  • Comment number 31.

    LOL! I actually find myself posting randomly so that I get another post from you making me laugh spirit! Pahaha!

    And FYI [snob mode] I was only being factual, but yes, but the time it cracked the Top 5 I was beginning to become gradually more and more stunned at the performance of the single, and how well it's been accepted by the public. [/snob mode] :P

    All I can say is well done boys! And well done spirit for predicting that it'll be #1 come Sunday... it's almost a-given!

  • Comment number 32.

    spirit, I've almost lost count of the amount of times I've seen you tip songs for the top 10 or top 20, then when they fly to no.1 you say 'I was right!' Talk about playing it safe.

    Oh, so I mentioned a song I thought could challenge for no.1, and now it's only in the top 10 on iTunes, and probably heading for the top 5? Oh dear, I'm so silly! Perhaps I should of played it safe like you normally do and predict it would make the top 20. But instead, I stuck my neck out and made a bold prediction.

    In fact, I don't even remember you saying before Sunday that The Wanted WOULD be no.1. I only remember you saying it COULD be no.1, along with 2 other songs. Again, playing it safe? For the record, I never tipped it for no.1 purely because, as I said before - I hadn't heard the song (and still haven't). Now I think it's fair to say we can all look at iTunes and safely assume it's a probable no.1 for this weekend. But again as I said before, it was obviously going to do well because their promo and hype has been unstoppable, and considering they are a young boyband they were always going to attract a lot of young girl fans.

    If you want, I'll list all the songs I tipped for no.1 last year and this year, weeks before they were released. But hey, you're Mr. Expert, so we mustn't dare question anything you say, right?

  • Comment number 33.

    Right !

    I am glad the penny has dropped . :)

    The trick is to play it safe at the beginning , and then go in for the kill , when it becomes obvious .
    Ha !
    The main reason this song will do well . is because it's a really well crafted pop song with huge appeal .
    The fact they are a good looking boyband , is a bonus , but the essence of their success is down to the song .

  • Comment number 34.

    Well that's what you always do

  • Comment number 35.

    I do like The Swedish House Mafia track , and of course you are right to flag it up. Great, I was only pulling your leg .


  • Comment number 36.

    I love the wanted so much that me and my friend created our own all time low video :)

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Ok I finally got round to hearing this song... and I don't get what the fuss is about. It's just so dull, average, and predictable. The video is so cheesy. Can't think of much else to say about it. Seems to me that it is selling off the hype after all

  • Comment number 40.

    The thing I like about it is it's maturity. I like that about all The Wanted's song - no auto-tune, really good, meaningful lyrics, etc, etc.

    Although I will digress 'All Time Low' still seems their weakest song I've heard. 'Heart Vancancy', 'Behind Bars', and 'Let's Get Ugly' all say to me that they put thought and time into their lyrics, rather than just shoving in an odd countdown to a chorus with plenty of shawdies.

    Not that I'm cornering anyone with that comment...

    Oh, and when I said I thought it would go Top 15, that was before I Knew just hpw exrtensive their coverage and exposure has been; it sounds like a song that would peak at #15-ish without the extensive promotion.

    It'll be interesting to see whether The Wanted get the same amount of promotion with their next single, and if they don't, how well will it fare? I actually think they've got everything they need to have a fairly decent length of music career - the looks, the music, the voices (they're actually very good live, especially Max), the personalities, the devotion to their fans etc, etc.

    I think, because all the previews of their other songs come across as far better than 'All Time Low', these boys have very little to worry about (although it WILL be very interesting to see how they fare if one of theie future singles is released in the same week as one of JLS').

  • Comment number 41.

    Fair pop.

  • Comment number 42.

    hmm the warehouse setting for the video bothered me a little too but the song was lavly

    aww i knew i could rely on you fraser, to pick up on the internal rhyme. It just made the song something else ^.^


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.