The Wanted- Battleground

Global Talents Records

Audio CD, Rs. 295

While music of the 1960s was marked by the earliest predecessors of the boy band genre such as The Osmonds and The Jackson 5, as time progressed and we reached the 90s, Boyzone, Backstreet Boys and Westlife were the ultimate male pop heroes. Cut to the present age and British-Irish boy band, The Wanted, are in the limelight.

Comprising Max George, Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness and Siva Kaneswaran, The Wanted released their debut album which was certified Platinum in the UK in 2010.

Their second studio album, Battleground which released at the end of 2011 generated mostly positive reviews from the critics.

The opener ‘Glad You Came’ is perhaps their most popular number from this album. Blithe, upbeat and melodious, this track makes for an impressive start.

Yet another pop track follows this. The lyrics of ‘Lightening’ are the attraction here. Undoubtedly one of their best songs on this album is ‘Warzone’. Featuring a haunting piano riff, poignant vocals and an epic chorus, ‘Warzone’ is in itself an epic offering from the band.

With ‘Invincible’, the band has not really put their best foot forward. Nonetheless, it has got a fairly engaging hook. Next up is ‘Last to Know’ which literally starts with a bang. With a heavy drum beat and elegiac rising vocals, the song develops into a heartfelt chorus.

The pop formula really works well on this number. Then comes ‘I’ll Be Your Strength’. This beautiful ballad is soft and powerful almost simultaneously. Hitting the ultimate crescendo is the highpoint of this song.

You would think a song that’s called ‘Rocket’ would actually be a blasting hit but the band tricks us into thinking so. While the guitars hold the song together, it lacks the audacious punch it could have had.

The guitar ballad ‘I Want It All’ is an average offering. You could easily fast forward through this one and not miss a thing.

Thankfully, the band is back with a clubby track. ‘The Weekend’ is cheeky and the guys sing about wanting a girl ‘for the weekend’.

The boys fall back into complacency with their penultimate track ‘Lie to Me’. ‘Gold Forever’ has been described as “the ballad you can rave to”. Written by Steve Mac, Wayne Hector and Claude Kelly, the thumping beats, rising tempo, melancholic feel, brilliant lyrics and mellifluous music make this a fantastic track. Composed of strings, synth and the dance element, ‘Gold Forever’ is the perfect closer.

For a boy band in the 21st century, The Wanted have done a fairly decent job with Battleground, nothing groundbreaking though. What must be applauded is their upward growth curve since the release of their debut album.