Boy band battles may be on the rise again after British group The Wanted released their first album in the United States. Their release follows that of One Direction, another British boy band, whose album spent time in Billboard’s number one spot last week.
The Wanted is comprised of Parker, Max George, Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness and Nathan Sykes, who are between 19 and 23, and were put together in the U.K. in 2009 following auditions. They are managed by Scooter Braun, who has also managed Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber.
In their review of The Wanted’s self-titled album, HitFix wrote:
“The Wanted’s solid brand of electro-pop transcends much of the typical boy band material to ensure its appeal beyond a teen demographic. They seldom reach for great depth, but certainly a number of the songs, including the dramatic ‘Warzone,’ exceed beyond the lightweight pop ditty.”
The boy band’s members are seemingly trying to distinguish themselves as different from most other boy bands, such as 90s hits New Kids on the Block, *NSYNC, and Backstreet Boys, who featured mostly clean-cut singer/dancers. Tom Parker, one band member, told Reuters that:
“We’re different, we all play instruments, we don’t dance and we don’t dress very well.”
Their manager, Braun says that he encourages the band to be completely open about their lifestyles and daily activities, from partying and drinking to dating girls. Braus states:
“All the acts that I manage are built organically and they all get to be exactly who they are. I used to be a party promoter the last time boy bands were huge, and I knew a lot of those guys, and they like to party and drink and do all that stuff too. But they always had to hide it, and I think it’s refreshing to see a boy band that doesn’t hide it and that doesn’t care.”
One band member, Jay McGuinness said that:
“[One Direction's] music is really different to ours and I think anyone can see that, and you can like one or the other or both. A lot of people expect boy bands to cater music exclusively to young girls…we accept that a lot of young girls do like us, but we respect their musical choice as much as we respect a 50-year-old dude.”
The boy band’s single “Glad You Came” has already been featured on the hit TV show “Glee.”
Check out the video below to see The Wanted perform their new single: