“Want U Back”

Credits

Release Date

Record Label

Performance

Reviewer

Adam R. Holz

Album Review

Cher Lloyd and  Carly Rae Jepsen may hail from different countries on different continents (Lloyd from the U.K. and Jepsen from Canada) but the list of similarities between the two pop singers is long.

Both rose to fame after getting noticed in reality TV singing competitions.

Both enjoyed several hits on their home turf before landing one on the charts in the U.S.

Both sport brunette locks and playful—sometimes a tad brazen—personas.

And both have struck chart platinum with infectious, bubblegum pop.

While Jepsen’s path to fame began with Canadian Idol, 19-year-old Malvern, Worcestershire, native Lloyd’s journey began on the British version of The X Factor. During the 2010-11 season, she placed fourth. And her first big hit on this side of the pond begins with her breezy, bratty bragging that she believed she could do better in the boyfriend department: “Hey, boy, you never had much game/Thought I needed to upgrade/So I went and walked away.”

But as soon as he moves on to a new girl (“Now I see you’ve been hanging out/With that other girl in town”), jealousy rears its ugly green head (“Remember all the things that you and I did first/And now you’re doing them with her?/ … Come on!”).

The title telegraphs her emotional endgame: “I want you back.”

That’s about as deep as things ever get here, as a smugly self-absorbed girl who thinks she can do better soon finds out differently—much to her consternation.

All along the way, Lloyd flirts with 1980s Madonna levels of sass and sensuality in her video. And in her lyrics it’s the s-word that’s the object of her affection. She never actually sings it, but two key lines cozy up to it in such a suggestive way that it’ll be all fans are thinking about while she repeatedly croons, “Boy, you can say anything you wanna/I don’t give a shh, no one else can have you/ … I broke it off thinking you’d be cryin’/Now I feel like shh looking at you flyin’.”

That’s enough to make quite a few American families not want u back, Miss Lloyd.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

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