The Wanted ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ Music Video Review

 

The clip for the new music video by boyband The Wanted is up online. Here are my thoughts…

In short, I like it. Its got that cheeky playfulness that has made me warm to One Direction in their two most recent music videos. If we are going to compare, I have usually preferred The Wanted‘s music, they do great lead singles but their slowies and album tracks aren’t up to standard. By the title alone you’d think this song would be in the same mould as Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger‘ but lyrically it has more in common with the Robbie Williams/Pet Shop Boys collab ‘She’s Madonna‘ (go check that one out, Robbie bears a surprising resemblance to Jessie J circa 2011). The chorus is catchy enough and there’s a few ‘boom booms’ and ‘oooh ooooooohs’ but it kind of plods along in my opinion. I think this is definitely their weakest lead single yet, but the music video makes up for it.

The lads parody other boy bands, with my favourite being the Take ThatBack For Good‘ (Take THAT Take That!) spoof with water bottles standing in for rain. Jay even chucks in a little ‘Gangnam Style’ in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Its nice to see Nathan looking well, obviously he’s been through a lot since then. I can imagine all their fans are hoping he recovers quickly.

So yes, The Wanted ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ : the song is OK, and the video is a lot better than Annie‘s ‘Tubestops & Lonely Hearts‘ (what isn’t? Seriously Annie, I cherish you and all but what were you THINKING?!?).

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The Apprentice Is Back!

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I always get excited when a new series of The Apprentice starts on BBC One.

I mean, weeks upon weeks of catfights, egos, genuine tension in the boardroom, Lord Sugar’s putdowns, Karren looking bewildered at stupid decisions and Nick Hewer’s facial expressions.

But most of all, the thing I get excited about is THAT music!

So, as the first TV show I want to review/write about on this sparkly new blog, I thought this was the most apt an-

Wait!

Where’s the theme music?

😦

 OK, well despite the lack of ‘Most Grandiose Yet Spine-Tingling Television Introduction Theme Ever’ this new series started off well, with the amazingly stupidest, stupidly amazingest (amupidest? – add it to the Anderictionary) boasts right off the bat.

One -I don’t know names yet, I never do until week 5- happily claims to EVERYONE WATCHING they will cheat and manipulate to win, lucky for them its not a public vote. There’s more gems “I am one of the greats of this generation… (something about Napoleon) I will conquer!”, “Energy of a Duracell Rabbit and the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit”. Blimey.

My favourite has to be the woman who claimed to be ‘half machine’ and can process things at the speed of light.

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Where’s Jedi Jim when you need him?

 This was Jaz, unlike many first week losers I think she’ll be remembered for actually doing jazz hands and according to Twitter looks a lot like Mel B. When it came to being Project Manager (which you should NEVER do on week 1, let alone throw yourself forward to do it) she could have done with a bit of scary. No one took her seriously and she didn’t have a great business plan. Her sub team did better, led by Leah – whose name I remember because she is Irish and as Nadine Coyle proves, the Irish do everything better.

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Fierce.

A lot of the episode was a bit standard: sales blunders, running around like headless chickens and slick editing to make it look pretty close between the two teams. And it actually was, Sir Alun (as he will forever be known) and co. revealed the difference was only £58 in the boardroom.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because before the boardroom…

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Finally one of life’s greatest mysteries is getting closer to being solved. At first I thought the legendary Apprentice Secretary was a mannequin or elaborate BBC prop, or even controversial Series Three contestant Katie Hopkins actually having a job for Lord Sugar (Sir Alun) giving the already nervous contestants evil glares.

But now, to the boardroom!

Its a bit too early in the series to know everyone’s names, and also too early for the really venomous comments to come out but we had some great moments, the two that stick out for me most are:

  • Jaz trying to knock down Sophie (I’ve resorted to checking the website for names, if I’m going to write about the show I think its best to learn them sooner or later, although I shall try not to get too attached because they are all going to drop like flies) by pointing out the latter made no sales. LordAlun quickly responded with the fact Jazz sold absolutely zero as well. And then fired her. 
  • After the boys won, Tim went on some odd tangent about how he’s learned from his mistakes and will do better next time, prompting Alan of Amstrad to issue a priceless “you won…. you won… shut up.” In his defence it got him noticed, I hadn’t even noticed him speak all episode. All publicity is good publicity.

The standout star of the episode had to be Welsh man Alex.

But not in a good way.

Most of the Twittersphere, one of his fellow contestants and everyone on You’re Fired compared to him – not Freddie Mercury, sorry boyo – but Dracula. I’ve seen a few comparison pictures and Dara did show us a great mockup which I was going to post here BUT I stumbled across this:

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Put. DOWN.

I’m guessing he’s not going to be the winner this series.

But seriously though.

I mean, how can you be nasty about this face?

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Bless his cotton socks. Maybe I just like the underdog, or its because he’s a fellow Welshman. Saying that though, so far – my money’s on Nadin- Leah.

Thanks for reading my first television review/blog post, I hope it was mildly amusing. I’m sure these will get better, I’ve just kind of knocked it out instead of going to bed. If you have read this and would like to give me a few pointers on what works or what didn’t (or are looking for a weekly Apprentice reviewer…) then feel free to get in touch. 

Backdated Post: My Thoughts On The Girls Aloud Split

One of the first things I’d like people to know about me is that I absolutely ADORE pop music, I could happily be paid to write about it every single day (hint hint). My longest and most emotionally invested blog post was from the 20th March, after Girls Aloud announced their split on Twitter. I’m very proud of it so here it is, on here.

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Ok, so it was pretty much inevitable. Even though I would have loved them to do a Take That and do a group album one year and solo endeavours the next, I get it. They bowed out on a high, following a tour full of nostalgia and the biggest songs that defined them and a generation of music. Would they have success if they carried on? Something New dropped like a stone, TEN barely made it inside the top ten and Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me was a mess. Their solo projects are just that, and no amount of generic solo Cheryl tunes, nice but boring Kimberley covers, Sarah being in Danny Dyer films, Nadine’s gaudy outfits in NY gay bars and Nicola’s music being amazing yet written off by the public because she is ‘ugly’, ‘the ginger one’ -and thereby somehow lacking talent- can tarnish their group legacy together. But if they carried on and released the kind of music the Saturdays, Amelia Lily (what ARE you thinking Xenomania?!?) and all these American artists put out, it would dilute their musical output.

And what fantasical musical output it was. I get people have opinions but it really annoys me when people write Girls Aloud off as just another girl group. Yes, ‘Jump’ and ‘Love Machine’ are incredibly cheesy and camp but there is so much to them than that. ‘Sound of the Underground’ and ‘No Good Advice’ are edgy, combining disco, surf guitar and drum and bass together, but unlike many artists, their debut was in no way their peak. ‘The Promise’, ‘Call the Shots’, ‘The Loving Kind’ (co-written by The Pet Shop Boys, surely a sign of their amazingess) are incredibly sophisticated; a word not commonly associated with pop.

And then there are singles like ‘Sexy! No No No…’ and ‘Biology’ which are actually genius. Listen to them, and think about them. They don’t just follow the standard ‘verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, chorus, end’. ‘Biology’ doesn’t even give us a chorus until the last minute, and all the little ‘bits’ of it are so different, just jumping from one genre to another. Go list to ‘Graffiti My Soul’ and tell me what the chorus is. There’s about 3. ‘Miss You Bow Wow’ is basically four minutes of continuous choruses. I’m not trying to say all this stuff in a ‘my music taste is better than yours’ way, I’m trying to express my genuine adoration for these songs. I find as I listen to music now I’m older and more versed in these things, I can tell how most songs progress from the first thirty seconds.

Listening to many of these wonderful Xenomania productions (and don’t get me wrong, without them I doubt GA would’ve lasted past album two), there is a genuine feeling of ‘what’s next?’ and pure thrill of when rollercoaster songs like ‘Swinging London Town’ go in a COMPLETELY strange direction.All the time, throwing earworm hooks one after another. Credit to Brian Higgins, Miranda Cooper and co. The oddball lyrics and detailed production are just so… clever. I’m not the biggest fan of R&B because I don’t find there’s music ‘there’ in the songs, I like mine to be full of ‘stuff’, for lack of a better term.

And then there’s ‘Untouchable’, ie: my favourite song of all time (album version of course). This song is basically Star Wars in song form. It’s epic (6:40 album version, although Justin Timberlake had decided to make every song on his new album that length or more) and creates this wonderful, spacey atmosphere, especially on the Instrumental version. The opening forty seconds create this feeling of hugeness, the vastest open space imaginable, then Nicola’s gorgeous voice comes in with fantastical lines about flying through the flames. These squiggly electronic sounds sneak up on building to this chorus that takes off, the girls singing ‘and in my dreams, it feels like we are forty stories tall’. This little twangy guitar bit comes in after each chorus, and it’s not much – but its symbolic of those little things in these songs that all add up. Although its pretty conventional in structure, the third chorus is followed up by a beautiful middle eight by Nadine “Whenever you’re gone gone, they wait at the door, everything’s hurting like before. Without any meaning, we’re just skin and bone, like beautiful robots dancing alone”. It doesn’t make complete sense (many of their songs lyrically don’t, but that’s the fun). Who is waiting at the door? Beautiful robots, dancing alone – what?!? I find some existential meaning in these lyrics, and its lines like this and “Late at night, I dream I’m falling into love again. Twenty five electric angels are dancing in the rain” from the sublime b-side ‘Memory of You’ endlessly poignant. And these are songs that would sound great in the club, but contain no references to being ‘in the club’. I’d love to be dancing in a dark room, with crazy flashing lights with tons of people having an amazing time, experiencing happiness and sadness at once – living life whilst singing about being skin and bone.

Going back to a point I mentioned earlier. Girls Aloud are what really got me into MUSIC. As in, going online, talking to like minded people about my interests, seeking out demos, b-sides, remixes and other rarities. Being recommended artists that I now hold incredibly deeply to my heart. I’ve got meet lovely people, online and in person, as passionate about pop music as I am, when before people just blindly listened (I know you don’t need eyes to listen, you know what I mean) to what was on the radio; accepting whatever Radio 1, adverts, X Factor and the musical channels threw at them. I learnt how to forge my own musical ‘identity’ I guess. Researching Xenomania, I became fascinated in the process of writing and producing music, the things that go behind the scenes and this web of people all working with each other. Richard X, William Orbit, Stuart Price, all the way back to Giorgio Moroder. I appreciate music much more than I did before. It used to just be just ‘there’, but now I consume it: songs old and new as if its food and I need more to survive.

I feel I could go on forever, but I’m going to wrap this up soon. I really got into ‘The Aloud’ (for it is they!) after the Out Of Control Tour had basically sold out and I couldn’t find the money, or people to go (damn you not coming to Cardiff). So whilst I am absolutely gutted its over, I have had the fulfillment of finally seeing them live on this latest tour. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, and one of the best nights of my life. Seriously, the amount of acknowledging my existence they all did was so worth the wait. And Nadine singing the entire middle eight of ‘I’ll Stand By You’ directly to me, her perfectly manicured hands trying to grab my extended arms after reading my ‘Queen Nuhdeen, yew are Unsayshuhbuhl’ t-shirt will never be forgotten.

As half-hearted as this reunion/farewell few months has seemed at times (and the announcement being on Twitter of all places, don’t even get me started!), it has been great to see that am I not alone in how passionately I care about Girls Aloud. Life, and music, goes on and I’m sure I will discover some absolutely wonderful artists who I will adore a dearly as I do Queen, Pet Shop Boys, Lily Allen, Kylie (god my music taste is gay) but I highly doubt that for the rest of my lifetime, I will never cherish any musical act as much I do The Almighty GIRLS ALOUD.

Return to WordPress

Maybe less of a return and more a proper start this time around. The original layout and blog post was just really a test for me, getting used to this site and having something set up for when I needed it.

Well this is going to be the first *proper* blog post, and the first of many. I’ve written a few blogs but not posted them here since the Piers Morgan one, so I will upload a few of them first then start blogging about things; music, films, current events or whatever more on this page.

Most importantly, this site is going to be a showcase for my work as well as blog. These are going to be in separate tabs, like the ones I’ve made already, which are:

Television – this is a showcase of my television presenting work, and houses my current showreel made up of ten minutes from the two-week Exposure TV project. Hopefully this tab will be updated a lot as TV presenting is what I want to do most (apart from win the Lottery but… you know)

Radio – the radio drama I wrote and acted in is also here, this page won’t get updated as much as television or my blog but it is something I am very proud of and would love to pursue given the opportunity. 

I hope you enjoy reading the various parts of my (potentially) ever-expanding WordPress. As times goes on I will try things out and see what works and what doesn’t.

To quote High School Musical (before I discovered shame), this could be the start of something new…

🙂