The Saturdays’ new single, All Fired Up, is out there to listen to through their official website. It is getting mixed reactions, some like it, some think it goes nowhere, some think it sounds nothing like The Saturdays, and they are right. All Fired Up was produced by Xenomania, but it sounds nothing like them either.
All Fired Up is a catchy, dance based track that sounds like a decent remix of a good song but without actually being a remix. It is yet another song that falls into the style that Rihanna resurrected a few years ago with Don’t Stop The Music, the “ready for the clubs” sound. This mustn’t be mistaken with electronic music or electronic sounds: Kylie Minogue and Robyn are electropop, it’s all about the beats and the synths, yet unique and original. Even if we go back on The Saturdays’ music catalogue we can find that If This Is Love, their first single, is also electro sounding.
But there’s a difference between electro pop and the sound All Fired Up sells. If This Is Love and Up are Kylie and Robyn or even Girls Aloud, All Fired Up is David Guetta. The base of the song is that default dance beat that features on every remix and has, for a while, dominated the pop charts, with Guetta himself being the main exponent thanks to the chain of summer hits he has achieved in the past couple of years (Sexy Bitch, When Love Takes Over, Memories, Gettin’ Over You, I Gotta Feeling, Club Can’t Handle Me, Acapella, Commander). Along with Guetta there is RedOne, who, with the exception of his work for Gaga, could be summed up by any of the tracks he has produced for anybody else. These are standard sounds, standard beats, standard synths, it all sounds a bit samey, it doesn’t really matter who sings which, and every time there are more artists adhering to the sound and it is starting to get boring. It feels like every song that comes out nowadays is “ready for the clubs”, everyone has a single that sounds dance, even Leona Lewis. The Sugababes sold their sound (and soul) when they recorded Sweet 7, and one of the things they did was releasing About a Girl, a RedOne song that sounded nothing like the Sugababes had ever done before, but sounded like a lot of other people. They were adapting to the trend, but they were not the only ones. JLo did it with On The Floor, Ne-Yo did it with Give Me Everything, Nicole Scherzinger had Poison, and they are artists that were pop/RnB before. Britney’s last album is all about it.
Music trends are cyclic, and this one feels long overdue. Nobody tries to evolve through it or make something that sounds fresher than any other. It is obvious these songs are not made to be remembered, but it almost seems like they are made to be forgotten quickly to leave room for the next one. It’s music that lasts a week on someone’s iPod before being replaced. And amongst all of it, All Fired Up is slightly original, but it still lacks the distinctive originality that Xenomania normally imprint on their songs. It is a good song, but it doesn’t really feel like The Saturdays.
And I indulge on dance songs as much as the the next person, but there’s a part of me that hopes this trend fades away sooner than later, if only for artists that I like to recover their personality.