Kat Stevens: The Saturdays have done well to keep their gladiator-sandalled feet wedged in the UK Pop Pantheon door. They’ve had ample opportunity to fully cross over the threshold and hang up their coats on the peg (thanks to some stonking Swedish choruses and Girls Aloud having taken this year off) but have never quite cemented themselves as a permanent houseguest. “Missing You” is a trancier take on the normal Tedder-ballad and that chorus is indeed huge, but until they get some distinctive, meaty verses, the Saturdays run the risk of being left outside on the porch.
Alex Macpherson: Sadly we don’t have the option to miss missing the Saturdays yet, clinging inexplicably as they are to the charts like chewing gum to a school table, but it’d be fair to hazard that their eventual disappearance will barely be noticed.
Martin Skidmore: I think they’re at a stage in their career when they need to look dominant and lasting, or they will fade. This suggests the latter: the trancey sound is muted for what is a rather slow number, the autotuning is kind of nasty, and there isn’t quite a tune.
Alfred Soto: “I get high when you’re making me weak” – wha? Who’s she talking about: the Auto-Tune?
David Raposa: I dream of the day when I miss hating AutoTune as much as these fembots miss hating their object of disaffection.
Rebecca Toennessen: I do dislike that squeaky, warbly, Cher-ish autotune effect. Why? I’m not morally opposed to the occasional use, but unless you cannot sing a note, it’s just a weird, bland overlay giving out flat, emotionless vocals. ‘When we still had the passion to hate’ could be belted out with real feeling, here it’s sort of sigh-farted out whilst generic dancey oompah bores itself in the background.
Katherine St Asaph: The cross-pollination of a Cascada anthem and a girl-group ballad that’d normally be skipped, this really shouldn’t work. But the two mitigate each other’s flaws; the spin-cycle of a beat keeps things from plodding, and with this many people singing, at least one is bound to show some personality. Whoever’s got verse two should sing lead all the time.
Mallory O’Donnell: I can’t fault the mood (vulnerable yet oppressive) or the general tone of the lyrics (stark, vacantly appreciative of how love is inevitably intertwined with hate), but the performance is so earnestly plastic that neither really resounds, and the actual phrases get well on the bad side of weird (bathing what in sin again?). A wasted opportunity on material that could have stimulated actual feelings of awkward remorse in the hands of almost any random group of five twentysomething women, from any city located on the actual earth.
Michaelangelo Matos: “Don’t freak out if I leave.” Oh, I’ll do my best.