Monday, March 25, 2013
The Saturdays Score First #1
It took awhile but it finally happened--Rihanna decided to take a year out and not release an album this November--but even more importantly, British girl group The Saturdays finally landed their first chart topper with, "What About Us," the lead single from their forthcoming fifth album (or fourth if you count Headlines! as an album) and their first ever single over in the states. And it only took six years worth of singles. Moving 114,000 in its first week, it's the years fastest selling single, eclipsing One Direction's Comic Relief single, "One Way or Another." Here's a look back at their previous singles:
If This Is Love (#8)
This frothy inoffensive pop ditty was released on the heels of the impending hiatus of fellow girl band Girls Aloud. So in true music industry fashion, The Saturdays were touted as their replacement. But this Cutfather produced track didn't quite hit the mark--a little too sweet and void of distinctive energy--it made sense that it entered the charts at a modest #8. Even its accompanying video lacked certain something that they would soon exhibit in droves in their later work.
Now, where "If This Is Love," lacked in energy and "that certain something," its follow up single, "Up," more than made for it. Coming in just a that little bit more stronger, more polished and feisty--with its sirens, prominent bleeps, heavy beat and burst of synths. The single scored the band their first top five single, peaking at #5. The group's debut album Chasing Lights was released shortly after.
After the upbeat dance-pop of the previous two singles, this mellow guitar-backed number was a welcomed release. The single landed the group their second top five and bested "Up," becoming their highest charting at the time.
Just Can't Get Enough (#2)
Technically, this was the first Saturdays single to see the top of the charts. Their cover of Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough," was released head to head with Flo Rida's "Right Round." They topped the midweek chart, but Flo got the last laugh by Sunday--the same thing would happen again four singles later. But this indeed became the group's highest charting single at the time, debuting at #2. And it also gets the award for their sexiest video.
After a consecutive string of four top ten singles, then came their first flop in the form of "Work," peaking at a disappointing #22. The single sported a more distinctive urban flavour than their previous singles, accompanied by its similarly raunchy video--inspired by Britney Spears' infamous "I'm a Slave 4 U" clip.
Forever Is Over (#2)
The lead single from their sophomore album, Wordshaker, "Forever Is Over," scored the group their fifth top ten, debuting at #2. While it's one of their more underwhelming single for me, it showcased a move from their more glossy dance-pop and to a more rock-studded venture in pop.
British pop doesn't get more decent than this (well, British pop by a girl group). Wordshaker's second single was indeed their best single and probably still is. Melody-studded production, catchy chorus and plenty of synths and beats--it had everything needed for a great modern pop tune. It is quite the shame it only managed the lowly peak of #9.
Missing You (#3)
Another #1 that got away (this time thanks to Flo Rida). Doped with vocoders, mellow synths and a shimmering backdrop, it's doesn't strike the biggest chord but it's still nice.
What do you do to the person that's stopped you from hitting the top spot twice? You collaborate with them. Unfortunately, it's not a magic potion for a chart-topper. "Higher" debuted at #10 becoming their eighth top ten. But charts aside, where the majority of their previous singles had a rather melancholic lyrical undertones, this was there first dance with unadulterated fun.
The lead single from their third full-length album On Your Radar was a rather misguided and a little disingenuous venture into dance-pop. From its clunky production to the unfitting lyrics--it didn't quite work. Still, the single debuted at #8 scoring another top ten.
All Fired Up (#3)
There's no question that with the right producers, the group can produce some great pop. Where, "Notorious," underwhelmed, its follow up, "All Fired Up" more than made up for it. Its glorious synth-drenced production (and mesmerising video) knocked it out of the park. Behind, "Ego," it's their best single, which was also reflected in its chart performance, debuting at #3.
My Heart Takes Over (#15)
One could have only assumed that after the flop of this melancholic ballad, it would have been over the group. With each single up until this point barely scanning 100,000, underwhelming album sales and no chart topper, things certainly looked dim.
30 Days (#7)
Things continued to slope with the release of their blandest single to date, which peaked at the bottom half of the top ten and left just as quickly.
What About Us (#1)
The Saturdays finally have a #1, so what's changed? The group have an air of new found life, which could only stem from their mildly successful attempt at success stateside. While the single isn't particularly interesting--it's synth-driven production is interesting enough to tantalise the commercial minds of its mainstream audience. Where their previous singles barely sold 100k, this moved that much in its first week, which is a feat in itself.