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Music Review

The Saturdays: 'Headlines!'

By
The Saturdays, Headlines
Released on Monday, Aug 16 2010

"I'm doing nothing / 'Cause then at least I'm doing nothing wrong." A lyric which evidently doesn't describe The Saturdays' work ethic. Two albums, six top ten singles, their own TV show, book, jewellery line... it's all go for Una and co. Headlines! arrives just ten months after the group's second album, Wordshaker, failed to do the business sales-wise, despite peaking at a very respectable number nine on the charts. Abandoning their sophomore set, the ladies have instead opted to release this "mini-album" featuring tracks that they couldn't bear to hang onto for their next full-length long-player. Was it worth the effort? Hell yes!

Sitting next to Wordshaker singles 'Ego' and 'Forever Is Over' is the eight-track set's own trailer track, 'Missing You'. It's hard to knock a ballad with a dance routine and, after a few spins, its chorus implants itself in your brain no matter how much you claim to dislike it at first. However, as enjoyable as 'Missing You' is, after hearing several of the other newbies here it's tough not to wonder, 'Just who chooses this group's lead singles?'

So, what should have launched Headlines!? Well, that would be the group's recently confirmed next single. Move over 'Up', shift along 'Ego', for there's a new Sats classic in town. The synth-laden 'Higher' has become an instant fan fave following recent live performances and, with its infectious chorus and super-sassy lyrics, it's not hard to see why. Una Healy's middle 8 isn't quite as thrilling on record as it is on stage, but don't let the ill-advised use of Auto-Tune spoil this moment of close-to pop perfection.

Also nestling among the new tracks is 'Died In Your Eyes', a track originally recorded by US pop upstart Kristinia DeBarge. Though few are likely to realise that it's a cover - poor Kristinia! - it's a shame that one of Headlines!' five new songs turns out to be second-hand. That said, it's still a decent Tedderish pop ballad with lyrics that prove The Saturdays can "do" vulnerable when they want to.

Headlines! also features the deliciously dark 'Puppet' - present and future boyfriends, take note! - and 'Karma', which recalls the group's signature tune 'Up' in not unwelcome fashion. The package is completed by a new mix of Wordshaker standout 'One Shot' courtesy of trendy knob-twiddler Starsmith. Truth be told, it's not markedly different to the original, but its inclusion does at least remind you that this top notch pop stomper really should have been a single.

All in all, this mini-album falls a little short of pop gold status - there's the odd dodgy production choice, some even dodgier lyrics and the inclusion of fan-splitting single 'Forever Is Over' doesn't help - but the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. Grab-bag it may be, but Headlines! offers a tantalising glimpse of what to expect from the group's next album proper. Let's hope those impressive new songs serve as an advertisement to potential songwriting/production collaborators who've been too sniffy to return the group's calls in the past.


> Click here to read our recent interview with The Saturdays' Mollie King

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