Thursday, September 13, 2012

MIXTAPE: The United SATS of America

LtoR: Vanessa, Mollie, Frankie, Una & Rochelle
It's really happening, ya'll. Excuse me while I shriek in happiness.

Thanks to those cuties in One Direction, the United States is finally starting to get hip to the plethora of danceable pop the UK churns out on the regular, with announcements of attempts to go "stateside" for a veritable pantheon of UK Pop Artists. Admittedly, many of them are attached to the UK X-Factor that birthed One Direction (Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd, etc.), but in the case of one of my all-time girl group faves, The Saturdays, it seems the fact that being attached the "UK Teen Pop Boom" could work also in their favor.

My love for The Saturday is well documented in this blog since their early days of "If This Is Love" back in 2008. They share a label with the iconic Girls Aloud (and also opened for them), and have done the majority of the "heavy lifting" (if you can call it that) whilst the Almighty Aloud dabbled in solo works and the Sugababes basically imploded. While some of their single choices lately have raised some ire in yours truly, at their heart, The Sats are a great, fun pop group that I have my fingers crossed that America will embrace. I mean -- we haven't had a fun-loving girl group since Danity Kane days of the mid 00's. Think about it.

The Los Angeles.

The group made their grand debut in the US this past Thursday, performing at a private party sponsored by Perez Hilton in Los Angeles where they unveiled their still underwraps new single "What About Us". The song will be their debut American single, set for release in January and will appear, most likely alongside "30 Days", their summer single released a few months back in the UK, on their upcoming fourth full length album. The will be making their East Coast debut tonight here in NYC.

While it hasn't been announced whether or not this all-new album will be released simultaneously in both the UK and the US, I've put together my wish list in terms of an imaginary "catch-up" album for the US while the world waits for Album #4. For those of you who haven't yet checked-in to The Saturdays, consider this your homework assignment until "What About Us" is formally released...

01. All Fired Up (music video here)
The second single from the group's third album, On Your Radar. The album's title came from a lyric in this song. Co-written by MNEK and produced by the Xenomania crew who literally define what makes UK Quirk Pop great, this song gets the party started on the dance floor. It remains to be one of the group's biggest hits in the UK.

02. What About Us
While not much is currently known about the song, you can check out a fancam of the live performance from Perez Hilton's showcase last week here.

03. Notorious (music video here)
The lead single from On Your Radar, this song defines "diva" and was on constant replay for yours during my birthday month last year.

04. Up! (music video here)
The second single -- campy, terrible music video in all, back from their "color-coordinated" days! -- from the group's debut album, Chasing Lights, "Up!" remains to be one of their biggest glory moments.

05. Higher (feat. Flo Rida) (music video here)
While it didn't do as well chart-wise as fans (and the group themselves hoped), the group decided to collaborate with Flo Rida in this second-off from the mini album Headlines! (a bridge between sophomore album Wordshaker and On Your Radar that overall, I was pretty disgruntled by). While it wasn't my favorite single, it was better than the previous single "Missing You" by miles.

06. Wordshaker (LISTEN)
The namesake for the group's under appreciated sophomore album, "Wordshaker" remains to be one of my favorite Satz songs of all time and the fact that it wasn't chosen as a single continues to irritate me. Lots of heavy synth abounds. Turn this up loud.

07. Get Ready, Get Set (LISTEN)
This song, the other Xenomania production on On Your Radar, was originally in competition to be single #3 following "All Fired Up" before it was pushed back and eventually scrapped in favor of the mid-tempo ballad "My Heart Takes Over". It's a shame, too, as it's a great straight-up pop song and sounds like a long-lost Girls Aloud b-side.

08. Ego (music video here)
The big mid-tempo "ballad-esque" second single to Wordshaker, "Ego" went Top 8 in the UK, Ireland and Scotland, and helps show off the group's vocals and harmony.

09. Forever Is Over (music video here)
"Over", co-written by James Bourne of the UK alt rock group Busted, was originally a pretty surprising choice as the first single for Wordshaker after much more dance-influenced singles in the Chasing Lights debut era. It's another shining example of vocal talent in the group's underappreciated power belter (and baby of the group) Vanessa White. It also went on to be arguably their biggest hit in the UK.

10. Issues (acoustic live version at AOL Sessions)
The requisite ballad single from the group's debut album, "Issues", went to #4 in the UK. The song got a little bit of "press" for it's potentially suggestive lyrical content in the chorus, which can sound like "Can't decide if I should stab you or kiss you' (although the group states the lyrics are "slap you"). In the single version, the lyrics were changed to become "Can't decide if I should leave you or kiss you."

11. White Lies (LISTEN)
Another great forgotten album cut from the group's third album. It was written & produced by Carl Falk, who brought us One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" and "One Thing", along with Nicki Minaj's "Pound the Alarm" and "Starships".

12. If This Is Love (music video here)
Finish it all off with the song that started it all, complete with obligatory 80's-influenced electropop sound and Yazoo! sample (it's 1982's "Situation", if it helps remedy that "I know that sample from somewhere" feeling).

BONUS CUT: Beggin' (Live Lounge Version Minus Frankie HERE)
In 2009, the group covered the classic "Beggin'" (originally by the Four Seasons, and at the time re-popularized by one-hit wonder Madcon) for their first live tour in the UK -- and it is freakin' fantastic.


John said...

I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you I share your enthusiasm for this invasion. I firmly believe "If This Is Love" would be a MAJOR smash here if it was released right now, but I'm sure the new single will be good (you sure can't tell from that video posted). I just hate that bands still align themselves with Perez.

Linus said...

I would add "Why Me, Why Now" to the list, that song just gets me going every time. I also love "My Heart Takes Over" but I know you didn't dig it.

Follow Me on Instagram via @melismaticdiva