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The Wanted - Battleground,
This review is from: Battleground (Audio CD)
The debut album from The Wanted came as an unexpected pleasure to many people, and brought the boys great success in a market where, I would have said, there wasn't much room for another boyband. But their unusual and quirky voices made them stand out in the crowd, with their more rugged image and their ability to release brilliant pop music. It was this that got them where they are, and this which makes this, album number two "Battlefield", a success.
There are, as to be expected in any modern boyband album, flaws; and perhaps one too-many ballads. But for the most part, their interesting vocals rescue the songs from being utter bores. Take the two songs `I'll Be Your Strength' and `I Want It All' - both are very basic, safely played, tender, stripped back ballads. On any other boyband album I would snooze my way through- but the rough vocals and strong harmonies shine through against the simple backdrop of piano- and guitar riffs, which actually makes them two of the best songs on the album. Meanwhile I cannot award `Warzone' the same praise, which slumps into the albums playlist weakly and meanders back out forgotten as a standard, dull ballad. But taking the trump card in the ballad category is the absolutely excellent "Last To Know", laced with a dirty drum beat, wicked vocals and brilliant melodies - it reminds me a boyish, more modern version of Girls Aloud's `Life Got Cold' - in the sense it redefines the expectations of a down-tempo number and sounds fresh and interesting as a result.
Sadly, there are only a handful of uptempo/big tracks on this album; along with lead singles `Glad You Came' and `Lightening' - both of which are excellent and two of the best on the album - there is the great `The Weekend' which won't be winning awards for `lyrics of the year' but is a synth-blasting dance-pop piece of epicness. But the crown for the most AMAZING track on the album goes to `Invincible': it's a brilliant piece of work - soft verses with big choruses and ecstatic instrumental parts - the boys' voices are outstanding on this song, and it's impossible not to dance around to this song.
"Battleground", surprisingly, is much more listenable that many parts of their debut, and shows great promise for The Wanted, who move through the British music scene with an excellent identity through their different music style and the characteristics of their vocals. A great follow up, and offers promise for future excellence.