"You gotta light me up!
I'm not feelin' a romantic, boy
But if you think you're worth it
You gotta light me up!
When you get my head t-turning
Boy, you're learnin', learnin', learnin'
Light me up!
You gotta smoke me like a cigarette
And keep me burnin', burnin', burnin'
Light me up up up!
Light me up up up!"
-"Light Me Up", Parade
We don't really need another reason why the UK just does pop better, but the reasons keep on arriving like some proverbial conveyor belt of greatness. I'm convinced there's something in their water. Truly. Further cementing 2012 as the Year of the UK girl group, Parade has officially returned to join the girl group...well, parade with a brilliant new single in "Light Me Up."
Quick Recap: Lauren, Bianca, Emily, Sian and Jessica joined forces to become Parade back in 2009. Their debut single "Louder" (which I happened to just recently hear blaring at my local Jamba Juice here in NYC, no joke) hit Top 10 in their native UK but despite a decent debut album, the hype derailed, the album "flopped" and things quieted down. The group exited their label, Asylum (a branch of Warner Music Group), but rather than give in and up, the group strengthened their sound and began recording a sophomore album on their own.
Clearly, it was just the motivation they needed to make Parade an important name in girl group history. With the help of some of the UK's most decorated production in Tim Powell (Sugababes, Girls Aloud and most recently Paloma Faith), Ed Drewett (The Wanted, whom Parade recently opened for) and MNEK (The Saturdays), Parade is almost ready to show us what they've got for their sophomore record. They recently tipped their hand a bit with the official premiere of their new single, "Light Me Up". And it was proof positive the wait for the main event was worth it.
"Light Me Up" is a glossy firework of a pop song (appropriate); a 2012 adaptation of the Parade feel further intensified in a very positive way. It has the similar feel of The Saturday's "Up" -- vocalizing that this narrative girl is doing her own thing and is not willing to share her shine unless her pursuer really proves his salt and "light[s her] up". The song really cooks with simulated strings, an unrelenting electronic drum rhythm and clipped, quick vocal delivery. The song delves into (unobnoxious) dubstep-esque territory around the 2:20 mark before tapping out quickly into a more sparse and refreshing bridge, building back up to the enjoyable chorus.
In all truth, it sounds like a grand Satz cut before the girls went all dreamy glitz or even a more sugary Sugababes single cerca "Round Round". So basically, it's pretty freaking fantastic.
If you love what you hear, you can download the song for free HERE thanks to the girls Parade and their sweet generosity (particularly useful if you live outside the realm of UK iTunes, which I do). You can also follow them on the Twitters via @parade .
P.S. -- The choice in title is a funny coincidence for yours truly, as my favorite Parade cut prior to "Light Me Up" was their album cut "Stars", who's chorus goes "We're looking like Stars in here/Let's light it up". Ahhh, see. I can predict the future...