And then there were three.
Megan Harrington: “Tonight, we’ll remember these days” and/or “Tonight, gotta live for these days” are such meaningless sentiments. The production sounds like a factory pre-set. The vocals are all silken ghosts. If “These Days” came on the radio you wouldn’t jump to change the station, it’s not that sort of awful, grating song. But you’d tune out and no part of it would ever pass through your brain’s membrane. It’s a song that actively floats away, that opens the door and sees itself out.
Alfred Soto: “Tonight we’re gonna live for/These days” makes no sense as catchphrase or even English, but Take That have never made sense as Englishmen either. Here they master a couple of nice key changes and a Maroonfiied rhythm base on a song that’s the typical survivalist twaddle released by aging pretty boys from Duran Duran to Nick & Knight. I expect One Direction to release one in 2027.
Patrick St. Michel: Pure catchiness has to count for something, but I can not squeeze out any other decent thoughts about it. Uhhhhh, sounds sorta like that Yeasayer song where they tried to be Lionel Richie?
Thomas Inskeep: This is perfectly solid adult pop, perfectly inoffensive and a bit on the dull side. It could use a bit of Robbie Williams, honestly.
Iain Mew: Their comeback, which is almost as long ago now as they’d been away then, saw them find a sweet spot between Snow Patrol and Westlife. They’ve tried to update that for now but have only managed half of the equation, landing between Bastille and a void. This is made worse by the way they seem to have countered dropping a member by producing the song so no one is even identifiable. If you close your eyes it may almost feel like nothing’s changed at all, but it doesn’t feel like much else.
Jonathan Bogart: Get that ad money, bros. Oh, sorry — bruvs.
Will Adams: The aural equivalent of a sugary cocktail that involves seven ingredients.
Scott Mildenhall: Sitting in a bath of baked beans for charity would actually be the least these three could do right now, but judging by this they mightn’t want the attention. Their three prior launch singles since regeneration felt or were intended to feel massive, but “These Days” is no statement. It’s a song that wants to stick in your mind, but not be at its forefront. Lively enough to give Howard something to do, but well aware that he is 46 years old.
Brad Shoup: The mix is packed to the ceiling with horizontal harmonies and disco downstroke turned up to “U2.” I suppose I’m glad we’re not saddled with a ballad, but I can’t see this lot frolicking on a beach in slo-mo, as those piano chords insist.