So The Wanted's Word Of Mouth was released on 4th of November, and what a week to be sold. Competing with high-profile artists such as Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and Lady Gaga's Artpop, Word Of Mouth definitely is going to get some cutback. However, that's not only it. This album is band's third full-length studio album that took almost 2 years to produce and finalize, with it's first single dating back to almost a year and a half ago. Still, can this album, despite being delayed so long, bring home at least some awards for the faithful?
It's really tough to say, considering the band releasing five singles from this album, all of which hardly made an impact on US and UK radio charts at all. Their best was probably the lead single, Chasing the Sun, peaking at 50 and 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart respectively. Especially since coming from a more breakthrough album of Battleground, which spawned commercial hits like Glad You Came and Lightning, people had expected more from this English-Irish boy band to do at least a tad better. However when there's One Direction around the corner, lurking with award-breaking music videos and a larger and more dynamic fan base, it can really be seen why The Wanted's fame has waned so much since the past couple of years. But has the music deteriorated?
I wouldn't say so, considering when I match the singles head-to-head. Yes, people will talk about the very degraded lyricism when it comes to boy bands, but apart from the five, my only problem lied in Walks Like Rihanna: cheap, cringe-worthy lyrics that feels moderate and nothing special when compared to We Own The Night with a soulful chorus that will surely get your lips singing to the lyrics when you hear it. This can be said for Show Me Love, I Found You and Chasing the Sun, all of which packs impeccable choruses and special dazzles to it such as falsettos (I Found You), garnered lyricism (Show Me Love) and an experimental pop track that actually worked (Chasing the Sun). However the album does take a rather different approach from the second track on.
Let's take out the problems of the album first. It is rather strange to say that a band with such dynamic lyrics could fall victim to the very daunting, outdated and rather off-track production that really feels like 2011 material rather than 2013. In The Middle, Glow In The Dark and Summer Alive are very harmonious, but I'm skeptical about the production. It feels sideways; while the vocals may be powered, but the production could not be all that high and mighty, exactly if falling before reaching the finish line. Thus, they feel almost as if they were filled in and don't exactly feel nor carry on the vibe the album has throughout. Also, the songs also just feel like they are trying to replicate the success of Battleground's Glad You Came, with a strung-out chorus but choppy beats to make you dance. While Glad You Came first hit us with it, when you hear it again, it doesn't feel all that moving anymore. Thus, it lacks the appeal which the former had given.
However, with that in mind, some other tracks without the epic production, but rather accompanied by calming piano or guitar chords, are the ones that give the album the punch that it needed. Songs like Running Out Of Reasons, Love Sewn, Demons, Everybody Knows and Heartbreak Story not only have magical vocals by the five members, but rather, showcases the band's strengths by being vocally triumphant rather than being followed by the production. Not only that, but the songwriting is also sufficiently great, while not being all that amazing, but it is adequate and for The Wanted, it is a goal met. I was a big fan of their debut album, and all of these tracks also are reminiscent of that vibe and that tone, so it was more than a big thumbs up.
7/10: I can see replay value, though it may not be all that impressive, The Wanted has put out a good album. It's great, but it doesn't really matches up to other bigger records that are coming out. However, with almost 1 year delay and to finally have The Wanted back again, I'll take it. It's also going to be better than any other pop record this year as I'm concerned, but otherwise The Wanted still has some improvements to finally perfect their next album.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.