Wanted: Alive And Singing!

The Wanted

If anyone is willing, I will sit down and have a discussion with you about music. It doesn’t matter if the other person has a different opinion; I still endeavor to voice my opinion using as much fact as possible. Yes, I still value the other opinion. However, I have a problem sometimes when some voice their personal preference as fact. In music, there is a difference between what one may like, as opposed to the talent particular musicians possess. For example; I may not choose to listen to much country music, but I respect the musical talents of country musicians. Many feel that if they don’t like what a particular musician creates, then he must not be very good. From my previous discussions I think my wife fits into this category. Nonetheless, there are times when she may alert me to a new musical act or trend she likes, and unbelievably: I will agree with her. The most recent example of this phenomenon happened several weeks ago as she watched Good Morning America. She mentioned that the boy band The Wanted, was performing on their concert series. More importantly, she did not dismiss them as another boy band, but actually liked their music. Even though I knew about the band and their history, her statements compelled me to take a closer look.

In order to understand The Wanted we need to go back to the year 2009, when they were formed. Like most boy bands of our time The Wanted came into existence through mass auditions held by Jayne Collins, who also put together The Saturdays and Parade. The audition process, which saw more than 1,000 people attend, took over nine months. The group revealed in their autobiography that after they were informed of the line-up, seven more people were re-auditioned before they were signed to Maximum Artist Management and Geffen Records.

I must say that I never have liked this process of making a band. However, the reality is that many bands that form on their own are forced to later make changes in personnel by management and/or record companies. I’m inclined to think back to something judge Simon Cowell said to then American Idol contestant Justin Guarini. Cowell told Guarini after one of his performances “Boy band yes, American Idol no,” implying that Guarini was better suited to be a part of a boy band. Guarini took offense but Cowell was not putting him down. He really thought Guarini had the “look” and sound that would go over well in a boy band. Simon Cowell believed that for some male vocalists, the boy band would be the best way to enjoy a career in the music industry. He might be right.

For a moment, I would like to go back and address my dislike of the way boy bands are assembled. As I mentioned before usually with boy bands the emphasis seems to be on how the band members “look” more than the sound of the individual or group. I must say that The Wanted seems to be different. I’m not ready to declare the group as “special” yet, but they do possess a good sound. I took the opportunity to listen to their new album Word of Mouth. The vocal arrangements and overall production really work well for The Wanted throughout Word of Mouth. Band member Tom Parker stated: “It’s taken us two years to make this album and now that it’s finally finished we are all really proud of the time and effort, not just that we put in to it but all the writers and the label too. We think it’s our strongest album to date. We can’t wait for our fans to hear it. They’ve been really patient but hopefully they’ll think it’s worth the wait!”

I’m sure fans of The Wanted will appreciate the album as it has steadily climbed the charts since its release. As of November 2013, The Wanted has sold over 9 million singles worldwide. Another factor that I feel may lead to more longevity and market awareness is the involvement individual members have had in songwriting on the album. This should help the group grow musically and grow together to make even better music. The Wanted currently has a reality show on E! which documents the group’s stay in Los Angeles while they recorded their third worldwide album and prepare for a world tour, as well as their day-to-day antics. For now this musical group has successfully invaded the US and seems like a permanent fixture at the top of the charts. Today these gentlemen are Wanted: Alive and Singing!

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