"Glad You Came"
It's been a good while since boy bands rocked and ruled. It's been nearly a decade, really, since the last wave of that genre crested in earnest with the peak of 'N Sync in the early 2000s. Since then, it's been largely about the solo ladies (oh, and omnipresent rappers, of course) on the pop charts, with Britney Spears, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, P!nk and, most recently, Adele owning the upper echelons of Billboard pop glory. Call it an era of diva dominance.
They're going to have to make room for The Wanted now, though, a group Rolling Stone describes as "a quintet of hunky Irish-British dudes who sing romantic party music." In her jezebel.com article "Start Shrieking, Ladies: Boy Bands Are Back," Dodai Stewart says of the quintet, "The guys—Jay, Tom, Max, Nathan and Siva—have teen-dream-ready clean-cut ethnically ambiguous good looks and frighteningly perfect eyebrows."
Cue the screaming.
Musically, the guys veer a bit from the established boy-band formula. Instead of the multipart harmonies and anthemic gang vocals, each of these singers takes a solo turn on "Glad You Came," a tune that's drenched with up-to-the-minute dance beats and synthesizer flourishes worthy of the likes of David Guetta.
As for the song itself, it works on two levels lyrically. At first it seems like a delightfully earnest ode to love: "The sun goes down/And all that counts is here and now/My universe will never be the same/I'm glad you came."
But awww quickly turns to ohhh with the realization that there's probably a sexual double entendre lurking nastily in the title and lyrics. A little drinking, a little dancing and, well, you know what's going to happen next:
"So let's go somewhere no one else can see, you and me/Turn the lights out now/Now I'll take you by the hand/Hand you another drink/Drink it if you can/Can you spend a little time?/Time is slipping away/Away from us, so stay, stay with me/I can make you glad you came."
The video reinforces the sensual vibe, as we watch the band party it up with a bevy of scantily clad admirers. One by one, the guys each select a girl to focus their, ahem, attention upon. And several shots of these coupling-off couples imply things are about to get hot and heavy on, say, the bathroom sink.
The next morning, each lady awakens next to her fling. And we see one of them putting her clothes back on.
That leaves me wondering how they'll feel about buying the line, "All that counts is here and now" after these new kids on the block have moved on to casual conquests elsewhere. Will they still be glad they, um, showed up?