There is no pop band in the industry today that frustrates us more than The Saturdays. After starting out promisingly in 2008 with debut album Chasing Lights, we were hailing the group as the natural successors to Girls Aloud. With catchy songs such as Up, Work and If This Is Love it seemed The Saturdays were working their way into our hearts and refusing to leave. Then the difficult second album Wordshaker arrived in 2009 which the group ditched for a mini-album EP Headlines in 2010. By the time third album On Your Radar arrived in 2011 fans were as confused and frustrated as we were with the constant chopping and changing.
As with previous releases the band rushed through On Your Radar, which was their first album to chart outside the Top 10, and moved onto new single 30 Days in May 2012. Following the number one success of What About Us featuring Sean Paul earlier in the year, The Saturdays have just released their fourth album Living for the Weekend. Only one day into the release and it feels like the album’s shelf-life is over as 4 of the 12 tracks have already been released as singles.
As with every album from The Saturdays Living for the Weekend gives us a glimpse of how great the group could be. Whilst there are some songs we won’t spend too much time discussing – we’re looking at you Lease My Love and seriously who thought Gentleman was a good song to release as a single? – there is plenty on offer that we actually rather like. The album opens with the cod-Jamaican What About Us which is undeniably catchy but far from their best single (even though it got to number one) and then makes way for the much-better Disco Love which just hit the UK Top 5. Songs like Disco Love are the kind we love from The Saturdays because they are catchy, fun and poptastic.
Elsewhere on the record the group take us to the dancefloor on the storming Not Giving Up, prove they can tackle a ballad on the surprising You Don’t Have The Right and go all Rihanna on the club track Don’t Let Me Dance Alone. The best track on the record though is 30 Days, which despite being released over 18 months ago, is one of the freshest and unique sounding tracks here. The seductive club beat gives way to a soaring bridge that explodes into a proper pop chorus.
The Saturdays could be a great pop group but someone somewhere needs to take control of this crazy ship. What the group lacks is a unique identity and sound that is distinctively The Saturdays. The closest they got was on Chasing Lights but now it seems they record a variety of songs with different sounds in the hope that one of them sticks. If it doesn’t they move on to the next single and/or album and cross their fingers. Honestly we don’t hold The Saturdays responsible for their crazy release campaigns and we wonder if they are as frustrated as we are? We reckon they need to take a break, hit the studio hard and come back fighting because this pop-by-numbers just isn’t cutting it.