Let me clarify something to start: NO, THIS BLOG IS NOT TURNING INTO A FORUM TO PRAISE BOYS BANDS. But, unless you’ve been living under a rock in a cave on Mars, you’ve no doubt at least heard the huge single “Glad You Came” from British boy band The Wanted. With its club-friendly dance-pop sound, this single has been garnering massive radio and club play the world over, and with today’s North American release of their new E.P., the question remains: is there some substance behind this band or is it just commercial fluff?
The answer is a little of column A and quite a bit of column B. The 7-track E.P. opens with “Glad You Came” which was produced by Steve Mac, producer of One Direction, Susan Boyle and Kelly Clarkson, among others. Mac lays a decent sonic foundation here, complete with accordions and a pulsating bassline over which the lads layer pop fodder and the result is a rather good piece of commercial dance pop that should be working the wedding circuit nicely this year.
The rest of the disc pretty much follows suit and could accurately be called a dance E.P. “Chasing the Sun” follows next and more or less recycles the same formula as “Glad You Came”. The same holds true for the rest of the disc; up-tempo dance production with rather typical boy-lyrics and harmonies. Mac also handles the production on three other tracks here, “All Time Low”, “Lightning” and “Gold Forever”, but with the exception of “All Time Low”, they just don’t quite have the same impact as “Glad You Came”. “Heart Vacancy” remains the only ballad on this disc and really doesn’t do a whole lot to round this collection out.
The idea here was to give North American fans a little taste from both of the band’s first two studio albums, 2010’s “The Wanted” and 2011’s “Battleground“. The result is a very radio-friendly dance-pop E.P. that, while somewhat appetizing, ultimately fails to deliver the goods and leaves the listener yearning for something with a bit more depth. Reasonably priced (in Canada, anyway), die-hards will certainly want this in their collection, but for the casual listener, just flip on your radio and you’ll probably hear this band’s best effort in the next five minutes or so.