I'M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK! My final exams are done and I just have one stupid practical exam to worry about so technically I'm freeeeeeeeee!! FINALLY! I know it's really, really, REALLY SUPER LATE but it's better than no review at all!
I first heard the Saturdays' Wordshaker very early in the month but as you guys know, I was far too busy to even think of reviewing a full album that that point. When I first spun the album, I thought it was brilliant - the girls were in for some praise from me. However when the excitement over the fact that it was a new album from The Sats died down a bit, I took the time to listen to it and as a whole the album just went right through me - there were not tracks that stood out by a mile.
But then after reading Mel's review, the album kind of made sense for me. So here's what I think of it at this very moment.
The album is a logical direction for the girls - as I said on my review of Forever is Over, they had to stray away from the Girls Aloud rip-off sound because that sound had already established them and they were free to do anything they wanted. Forever is Over may be a complete 360 change but the rest of the album is only a slight shift in what they were on Chasing Lights.
As a whole, the songs on Wordshaker complement each other - they make for a cohesive record with songs at pretty much the same level. I think the fact that they're all pretty much the same in terms of quality and whether I like them or not made very few tracks able to stand out for me. BUT, I still have tracks I'll listen to more than the others.
I've said my piece on Forever is Over so let's go straight to the rest of Wordshaker. Now that I listen to it again after a lul in trying to get myself to like this album, Here Standing is epic, gorgeous and something new for the girls. It's the type they'll sing as the last song of a gigantic concert in Wembley or of O2 - it actually sounds like a pop-ized stadium ballad. I absolutely LOVE the fact that they got in a real piano not just for some parts but for majority of the song, I adore the dimension it gives to the song.
Ego is a little closer to the Chasing Lights Sats during the verses but the chorus with the computerized drums trying too hard to sound real and keyboard loop behind is more of the Wordshaker Sats - I think the song has a nice balance of everything. The middle 8 is great but it's not something I'd fall at my feet for. However I do like the song!
The start of No One reminds me a lot of Here Standing and to a certain extent the verse does but the chorus is a song in its own. I like the subtlety of the song - it doesn't explode but it doesn't stay on the same level for the entire 4 minutes. But the biggest letdown on this song for me is the middle 8, that's it? I was expecting something on the same level as the rest of the song at the very least.
One Shot is a song with a lot of attitude. It's very techno during the verses and the chorus just very slightly explodes. The semi-middle 8/break down reminds me of a Britney song and really, what is it with all these mediocre middle 8s? UGH. The album's title track, Wordshaker starts out like something I wouldn't really like and the verses are a little iff-y for me but the chorus is really catchy - that's probably the extent to which I'll really praise the song. The instrumental stays in one place throughout the song, only changes a bit before the last chorus (which is good) and even when it supposedly explodes, it doesn't as much as it should. BUT, that's pop music and songs like this appeal so why not? Hahah.
Denial is the girls' attempt at trying something R&B and although it's a little out of place with the rest of the album, the song works well with the girls. The chorus turns into a rock-y thing with the guitars put on top of the R&B hook and I like it, I like it a lot. Beautiful melody - I can give this album a good score now that I've heard a gorgeous melody from the girls! After let-downs in the middle 8 department of this album, I gotta say that the best middle 8 goes to Denial. Simply stunning.
Open Up has been one of my favorites from the start - the instrumental and the loop in particular sounds like something straight out of those teenage summer movie of the 90's - early 2000's I used to watch as a kid. What I like about the song is that it explodes at the chorus when it doesn't necessarily have to. The middle 8 is OK, but not my type. Lose Control sounds like something Kristinia DeBarge could put on her album, it's trying to be a Britney song. At least on the verses - I like the chorus, it's a little more Australian pop ala Ricki-Lee. Actually now that I think about it, Lose Control does sound like a Ricki-Lee song.
Let's skip Not Good Enough - wasn't this song out last year? OK.
Deeper reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on until now - all I know is that it sounds familiar. It's sweet, nice and happy with the gorgeous melody. Aside from sounding like that something I still haven't found out what, it sounds like a tribute to the Hear'Says and British pop bands of the past - it's like something they'd have no problem doing. Maybe that's why I like this song a heck of a lot!
The last song, 2 a.m. (K-pop fans, why does One Day always pop into my mind now when I read 2AM or 2PM?!? Hahah.) is novel. It's 40's/50's/60's ish and I can imagine the girls performing this in costumes ala-GA's The Promise with choreography centered around their hands. Right? Although not very cohesive with the rest of the album, I like the song as a song. I like it, I like it a lot.
So, to sum up the album:
Best Track: Denial
Better Tracks: Here Standing, Ego, No One, Open Up, Deeper, 2 a.m.
My Least Favorite Track: Wordshaker, but it's not THAT bad. It's actually quite good.
THE RATING: 4.8/5 Solid effort but not enough for a perfect score.