Tag Archives: Chapman Square

Three, Four, Five: These New Hits And Members Keep Stacking Up

It’s boy bandemonium on the pop survey these days. We’ve had comeback singles just since the start of the year for 98 Degrees, Hanson, Jonas Brothers and New Kids On The Block. Don’t forget that One Direction‘s also put out a few more singles. Well, here are three more songs to add to the list, both Stateside and international releases. Be very afraid. They’re here to stay, at least through this year. Check out the newbies:

Looking for Number "One".

Looking for Number “One”.

EMBLEM3 – “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”
Release Date: April 16 (CHR radio, iTunes)

You saw them on the second season of the American version of The X Factor, mentored by Simon Cowell, and the young girls were swooning away. The trio of brothers Wesley and Keaton Stromberg, as well as friend Drew Chadwick, came in fourth place in the competition in the fall. Shortly after the show wrapped up, the group signed with by Syco Music and Columbia Records, and since then, they’ve been going across the country on a mini-tour. They also have a few promotional concerts lined up for summer events from radio stations in cities like Boston and New York City. On the heels of those forthcoming events, the group will be releasing their very first single on iTunes on April 16, a song called “Chloe (You’re The One I Want)”. It will also be going to radio on that same date, though it’s been registered to be monitored for airplay for some time now. They’ve been performing live now on virtually all of their tour dates and it seems to be getting a good reaction from their fan base. You can see a live lyric video from one of those concerts above. It’s part rapped and part sung, and it seems to be heavily influenced from the fields of both pop and reggae. Not a bad combination. It’s a catchy, summer-sounding song, so let’s hope for the best when the full studio version comes out in less than two weeks. (P.S. A note for all of you chart geeks like me. This “Chloe” isn’t the same one that Elton John took to #34 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1981.)

They'll fight for this "Love".

Going, Going, “Gone”.

LAWSON – “Gone”
Release Date: May 13 (U.K.)

I wrote a single review on these guys a few months back, so I’m happy to feature the quartet out of the United Kingdom again for their newest release. This is now the fifth single from their debut album, Chapman Square, released in the fall of last year. Last time around, they just missed the top ten in their native country with “Learn To Love Again”, but with three prior singles to that solidly made the top ten there, they’ve not had a bad track record at all. They travelled to America several months ago to perform a few smaller dates in the U.S. and in Canada, but since then, nothing has come up in terms of a crossover to this side of the world. Now, it looks like they’re touring in Asia, where the album seems to be doing OK, according to HMV.  Then, they’ll be back in the U.K. for the summer. So, I guess they’ll make do with one more single in Europe, as I’m sure they’ll be going back to the studio to record their second album relatively soon. “Gone” is a change in direction from their last dance-oriented single, going back to their pop/rock roots which made them successful in the first place. It’s not my favorite song from the record, but it’s a solid one from a really great album. Being so far down the line in terms of single releases, it probably won’t do extremely well, but some sort of top 40 placing for it should be in order come May. No word if a CD single will be available for it like the four other singles; I’ll update this when I know.

Sweet and "Low".

Sweet and “Low”.

THE WANTED – “All Time Low”
Release Date: April 30 (CHR radio)

Alright, alright, I know what you’re going to say. “Puh-lease, Adam, this song isn’t new.” Yes, it’s true. “All Time Low” went to #1 in the United Kingdom… in the summer of 2010. Cue the sad trombone. On top of that, the song was actually released here in a remixed form during the summer of 2011, but it was only about to become a minor hit on the Dance/Club Play survey. (“Glad You Came” was issued shortly afterwards, though it didn’t take off right away.) However, the boys have moved to Los Angeles and are filming a Ryan Seacrest-produced reality series entitled The Wanted Life. It premieres in June, and “Low” will be used as the theme song for the show. So, in preparation for that, Def Jam is sending the song to radio. Unfortunately for them, they’ve been pretty indecisive about an adds date for the song. It was originally supposed to be out February 26, then it was moved to March 19, then to April 2, and now, April 30. I mean, really, if that doesn’t spell flop already, then I don’t know what does. The song itself is good and was a great debut single for the guys, but their core fans have known the song for verging on three years now. I just don’t think it’s going to work, but alas, someone thinks they know what they’re doing and is carrying on with re-repromoting their single. A live video was recently released for it, which you can see above. Their series, airing on E!, will debut sometime in June. We’ll see if radio actually wants it soon.

So many boy bands, so little time. Do you have a favorite one that’s highlighted in this post or one I should cover in the future? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Lawson – “Learn To Love Again”

They'll fight for this "Love".

They’ll fight for this “Love”.

At this point, there’s no way you can avoid the Boy Band Revolution that’s taken over the world. Between those youngsters One Direction and bad boys The Wanted, it’s Team Backstreet versus Team *NSYNC all over again. However, there’s one boy band (more like a young man band) that despite some consistent success in the United Kingdom doesn’t really get a lot of coverage and hasn’t had their major breakthrough in the United States… yet.

The quartet calls themselves Lawson. For our Stateside viewers, let’s call them the 98 Degrees of this era. Consisting of three 22-year-olds (Ryan Fletcher, Joel Peat and Adam Pitts) and one 25-year-old (Andy Brown), they’re easy on the eyes, can sing, and all play instruments. The band is named after lead singer Brown’s doctor who performed a surgery on him to remove brain tumor, which was successful. Their album, Chapman Square, was released in the U.K. back in October, and it reached the top five on its debut week. Three singles from it, “When She Was Mine”, “Taking Over Me”, and “Standing In The Dark” have all gone top ten, with the former two hitting the top five. With all that behind them, the band is taking a trip over here to the U.S. and Canada to play a few showcases in January/February in Los Angeles, New York City and Toronto. One can only assume that this means they’re testing the waters for a full-blown promotional campaign here. If it works, then look out for them on the scene in the Spring.

While they attempt to achieve the dream of international stardom, the band is releasing a fourth single from their album in the United Kingdom, a single called “Learn To Love Again”. The song has six co-writers listed on it, which is quite the bunch, but let me spell it all out for you. One writer is the aforementioned Andy Brown. Joakim Berg, Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub and Michel Zitron are all Swedish singers and songwriters. Berg is the lead singer in the band Kent. Falk’s written and produced a number of Pop songs over the years, especially with boy bands like One Direction and Westlife. He also recently worked with Nicki Minaj. Yacoub’s been in the industry for a long time, often working with Falk and super producer Max Martin, whom he worked with on hit singles for the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears earlier in their careers. Lastly, Zitron has been behind several big singles for Swedish House Mafia, including their current one, “Don’t You Worry Child”. Oh, and we can’t forget about Eric Turner. You probably remember him from the chorus of the Tinie Tempah single, “Written In The Stars”. He’s released some solo material since then, but nothing’s stuck on the national charts, so he’s back to songwriting. So, with that untangling done, how about the actual song?

“Learn” is a sort of deviation from their past three singles in that it’s the closest to a dance song they’ve released (at least closer than “Taking”), though it manages to keep their pop/rock sound in toe with a heavy guitar and drum arrangement throughout. The song tells of two lovers who have been through the bad times of a relationship, where the “darkness took its toll” as they were “in the shadows”, but they’ve seem to make it through despite all the negativity surrounding them; Brown croons that “maybe that is how I knew you were the one.” They were lost, but now they are found, sharing in what, in the future, may be the best of times for them together. It’s one of the stronger songs on their album, which I happily imported a while back, so I don’t have any problem with it being released as a single. My main concern is whether it’s going to get lost in the shuffle or not. Even if you saw none of writing or production credits and just heard it sonically, you would automatically say that it was a Swedish House Mafia influenced track, or maybe even Calvin Harris since he’s been riding his recent album for a while. It’s the building pre-chorus with the synthesizers, the drum machine, and the “oh oh oh” chants that just explodes into a more surprising lyric-driven hook. It’s like a weird fusion of the band and both of these producers, but it’s very “Save The World” or “Feel So Close” without being a total club song. It’s generic, but it’s also not generic, because the band is able to back the song up with a meaningful vocal, arrangement, lyrics, etc. It’s complicated.

You can see where the dilemma is. Those dance acts were two of the biggest on the charts in 2013, but if the general public is fatigued of that sound, then it’ll sink. It’s also a fourth single from an album that’s been out for a while, so you would think that if people wanted the song, they would’ve downloaded it already. The February 3 release date attached to it doesn’t help things either. However, if “Learn” was the first single release in the United States, I don’t think that would be such a bad idea. We may have national charts overpopulated with dance music, but we’ve had this happen for far less time than in the United Kingdom. We’re also at a point here where The Wanted just underperformed with their last single release, “I Found You”, and One Direction is climbing with a ballad, “Little Things”, so it would be the perfect time for them to launch a breakthrough with the song. Boy band takeovers usually last a few years at a time, so they best be seizing the moment while they can.

Here’s hoping that 2013 is another great one for the boys and that they’ll get a little “Love” here in the States. They’re got the goods; now, it’s all up to a good backing to get them rocketing to the top of the charts. –AFS

Listen to and purchase “Learn To Love Again” on AmazonMP3 (U.K. only.)

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Single Reviews