Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Album Review: The Saturdays - Wordshaker (4.5 / 5)
Whilst the Girls Aloud continue to reign as Britain's biggest girl group, The Saturdays prove they are not that far behind. Their first album, Chasing Lights, was an fair debut, it wasn't great but wasn't terrible either, the singles ("If This Isn't Love," "Up," "Work" and favorite "Issues") were definitely the albums highlights and weather I thought the album was up to par or not, it definitely put the girls on the map and those critical Girls Aloud comparisons seems to have faded a.
The Saturdays' second album, Wordshaker, is a nice follow up to the first, probably an even better album. It's definitely more consistent and cohesive. The formula hasn't changed much, it's still the classic electronic pop matched with fillings of traditional ballads. The opening track and lead single "Forever Is Over," ensures the album a fabulous start, blemishing with a stomping electro/pop sound, backed with synth and drums. I love the incorporation of the electronic guitar in the bridge and that awesome belter of a chorus.
Following swiftly is the dramatic, piano laced, "Here Standing," fixed with pacing drums and the girls combined angelic vocals. It's one that I don't love, but is still discernibly good. Next up is "Ego" among the best tracks on the album. The girls gain a blatant sense of confidence which inevitably drives the song giving it that cool and fresh appeal as they exclaim ("You need to knock some sense into your ego.") pondering with subdued synth lines and obtaining that gleaming pop marvel as it approaches the chorus also the melody is brilliant.
"No One," is more calm and warming--at first it sounds like a retread of "Here Standing," but you can spot its distinctiveness after a couple listens. Next is the title track, "Wordshaker," a retro electronic stomper, which builds up orgasmically (did I just say that) to that fantastic aggressive chorus--pounding with bold synths. It's a fantastic song, probably the best upbeat song on here.
Another thing I notice is that the ballads are definitely better than the ones on the first album ("Fall" from the first was actually a favorite for awhile) but the most of the ballads on here are pretty good. "Denial," haunting number, supported with strings, drums, piano keys and harps. It gets more heavier and progressively haunting as it reaches the chorus, which works wonders for the song. Another ballad I really like is "Deeper," which is in fact the track I've played most off the album, it's been unfairly noted down as a filler by most reviews I've read, which I think is absurd, probably just because of the fact that I just really like it and have no strong reasons to back it up with. As Mel noted in her review, Molly's vocals definitely sound very improved on here.
Other highlights include the orchestrated, "Not Good Enough" fixed smoothly with strings, keys and light synths. The tastefully poppy "Open Up," about a fun night out is another winner. I guess the only track I'm not that keen on is the kiddishly composed, "2.a.m." The Saturdays definitely delivered one of this years best pop albums, it's undoubtedly good, packed with a handful of highlights more than, Chasing Lights. Wordshaker, is definitely one for the books.
Best: Wordshaker, Forever Is Over, Ego, Wordshaker, Denial, Open Up, Not Good Enough, Deeper