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The Saturdays Feat. Sean Paul, ‘What About Us’ – Song Review

The Saturdays
Island / Def Jam

The new British Invasion is upon us. One Direction and the Wanted broke new ground stateside, and now girl groups are trying to maximize on England’s musical imperialism. Following in the footsteps of Girls Aloud (and their breakout starlet, Cheryl Cole), the Saturdays are also looking to make their mark on U.S. markets via an E! reality series (because that worked really well for Kim Kardashian). Unfortunately, even though they join forces with Sean Paul on ‘What About Us,’ their lead single may make them fare the same way Chezza did on this side of the pond.

The Saturdays are known for pretty much pure bubblegum. If there were ever music that somehow sounded like sparkles (not to be mistaken for “glitter,” which is a market cornered by Kesha), it would be theirs. That’s why we were taken aback by ‘What About Us.’ It’s a pretty big departure from their usual sugary oeuvre, but not necessarily in a bad way.

The track takes on a reggae-tinged tone, aided no doubt by Sean’s Jamaican accent and roots. His presence on the track gives it an air of authenticity and fun, but pretty much only during his own verses and interjections.

Speaking of accents, when the Saturdays try to emulate island tones, it sounds a little awkward — and they start out like that right off the bat, but go in and out of the undistinguished dialect throughout the song.

The chorus is a heavily Auto-Tuned plea for a guy to essentially put his money (and perhaps other things) where his mouth is. “Whatever the weather we gonna be better together / So what’s up baby / What about us / I’ve been watching and waiting / Why don’t you give it and take it / So what’s up babe / What about us? / What you doing to my head? / Should be here with me instead / What about those words you said / What about us?” The Auto-Tune seems extraneous, because the Saturdays can actually sing well without it.

The song isn’t bad by any means. But it’s rather generic and certainly not the best the Saturdays have to offer, and too many cooks sound like they spoiled this broth a bit. Better luck next weekend, eh?

Listen to the Saturdays, ‘What About Us’ Feat. Sean Paul

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