I have a lot to say about this.
Tim: I listened to this 32 times in the first 24 hours I had this on my computer, so I have a lot to say.
Tom: Right, then I’ll get out the way and let you say it.
Tim: First, let’s have a game of Dynamic Typeface Bingo.
Tom: Catchy song. So what’ve you got to say about it? I can smell a list approaching.
Tim: Ah, what excellent olfactory senses you have. Item one: Few would deny that out of the three acts so far* from X Factor 2010, these are by far the most likely to succeed. They have the looks, youth and personality of an above-average boyband, they have songs written by songwriters of good and excellent vintage, and if this is anything to go by the music overall is very very good.
Tom: Now that’s a bold claim, given Cher Lloyd’s at number one now, but I reckon you’re right in terms of long-term success.
Tim: Cher Lloyd’s fans genuinely and unironically call themselves ‘brats’. If she wins, this country has actually died and gone to hell. So anyway, item two: The standard test of a boyband’s song: could it easily be performed by a soloist, or is there enough there to justify five of them? Well, I reckon this just about passes – there’s the ‘nobody else’ in the second chorus, and there’s a decent amount of messing around towards the end. And speaking of towards the end, my favourite bit is the sneeze-and-you-miss-it bit after the bridge where whichever one of them it is in the background goes higher for the ‘you light up my world’. I don’t know if it would have been better if more/all of them had done that (though it almost definitely would).
Tom: He does, and I wish I knew what that musical technique was called. It’s an easy way to get an emotional lift – and it works very well here.
Tim: Item three: The meaning and target of this song. I think that to understand this in all its true depth it’s easiest to become somewhat misogynistic, so apologies in advance. Let’s start rating girls, out of ten for tradition’s sake.* One through six – they’re a no-no. Eight and above – yes please. Seven, though, is borderline, and this is where it depends on the self-awareness of the target. (At no other point, please note, does her personality enter the equation.) As long as she reckons she’s a minger, let’s go with her, because she won’t know she’s out of my league. THIS is the girl to whom the song is sung, and everyone else can move along and listen to other music.
Tom: Seven is borderline? Clearly we work on different calibrations. Either that, or your scale’s logarithmic.
Tim: Fair enough, we’ll have it your way. One through seven’s a no-no, and eight’ll be borderline. But we should be careful not to take the misogyny thing too far.
Tom: That… that’s not what I… oh, never mind.
Tim: ITEM FOUR. The above leads us on to a slight logical fallacy, because there is one group of girls not mentioned: the sevens—sorry, eights—that know they’re fit. ISSUE. As soon as they know it, they’re not, at which point they can’t possibly know it because it’s not true. But now they have become beautiful, and so they do know it, and we’re back to where we started. How to correct this: change ‘you don’t know’ to ‘you don’t think’, and everything will be fine. As such, I have e-mailed Syco to request that this happen in all future live performances of the song. (Really, I have.)
Tom: Let me know if you get a reply. I find that while large companies tend to ignore emails, actual letters still get at least a perfunctory response.
Tim: There’s a potential item five that’s in somewhat dodgy territory, based on the fact that the only implication that they’re singing to a female is the ‘don’t need make-up’ line; they could alternatively be singing to a gay guy who feels he’s had to turn to transvestism to hook up with anyone. Since they’re all still impressionable teenagers, though, we’ll leave that for now.
Tim: So actual item five: This song is absolutely bloody fantastic. If you disagree, then you’ve got it wrong; to prove I’m right, I’ll put it in a song.
Tom: And I’m sure any of our readers who made it this far would love to hear it.
Tim: So, no-one then. Oh well.