Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

The Wanted – Walks Like Rihanna

Only one syllable away from being a Weird Al Bangles parody.


Katherine St Asaph: I hate to encourage industry bullshit, but just this once: Rihanna better be getting a huuuuge kickback.

Alfred Soto: Wow. She’s freaky, can’t sing or dance, the subject of a tune sung by five young male assholes. Could be worse — it’s not “Forgives Like Rihanna.”

Scott Mildenhall: Yes, this is The Wanted’s idea of sensitivity. Very confusing though — are vocal and rug-cutting talents normally a prerequisite for being the lucky object (that’s object) of their affections? Certainly neither were prerequisites for getting into The Wanted (and who wouldn’t want to get into The Wanted, right lads?). Maybe it’s just a sly dig at Rihanna herself; after all, she’s probably the only female popstar they haven’t already picked a public figh(THAT’S QUITE ENOUGH OF THAT — AD HOMINEM ED). Nonetheless, “Walks Like Rihanna” is a melodic triumph, packed with hooks in a refreshingly clean Dr. Luke production that’s sweet without being saccharine. The “hearts go boom boom” bit in particular is actually kind of lovely, so well done all involved.

Anthony Easton: The problem is that Rihanna can sing and dance, and there’s nothing really special about her walking style. What makes your heart go boom boom with regards to Rihanna is her really quite clever dancing and singing — that its insouciant style is unique. This is a style that precludes walking just for the sake of walking. Although the chorus and the handclaps are pretty fantastic, the exploiting of Rihanna’s good name seems to be a cheap indie stunt. 

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Maybe “Walks Like Rihanna” — a sub O-Town ode to picking up women or something — is the first sign that we stop and consider what Ms Robyn Rihanna Fenty has achieved in the space of eight years, from being just another girl singing over the Diwali riddim to leaving an irrefutable mark on the landscape of popular music. In the eyes of the here-today gone-today internet age, she’s earned her keep — it’s why she has a “Legacy” sub-section on her Wikipedia page. In the real world, she’s a never-ending fixation of the radio, press and public. She is important. There is a difference between importance and being iconic, however, and it seems as though it’s too soon to consider Rihanna a cultural icon. This makes The Wanted’s treatise on her walk (of all things) and pointed use of her name too much too soon. It isn’t helped that the only worthwhile moment is a bridge that could have been ripped from an quarter-decent emo song from 2003 (“our hearts go boom boom boom!”).

Patrick St. Michel: I realize what The Wanted are going for here, but I really like the image of a bunch of dudes falling for a woman just because she studied the “Umbrella” video and absorbed her moves. Oh yeah, this song is pretty boring.

Iain Mew: The twanging elastic bridge beats One Direction at their own game, and the tune as a whole is warmly affecting in a way that I would not have guessed a mid-tempo single by The Wanted could manage. The second verse vocals are ropey, but that’s par for the course. It’s a shame that it’s spoiled so much by lyrics that carry through on the awfulness the title concept suggests.

Ian Mathers: A perfectly serviceable chorus either held back or elevated (your choice) by a fairly out-of-nowhere conceit – “walks” doesn’t sound like a euphemism for anything else, seeing as how they specify that she can’t dance. The fact that that qualifies her as “the freakiest thing” according to these guys is a bit discomfiting, really. And the chorus only achieves about 75% liftoff, which doesn’t help.

Jer Fairall: Production-wise, this is far from charmless: the saccharine piano intro, the brief wash of strings, and the simple, chugging guitar figure that runs throughout the entire thing are all all easy on the ears. The vocals, though, are anemic enough to make one long for the polished anonymity of One Direction, and the titular lyrical conceit is among the stupidest that I’ve encountered in a long while. 

Brad Shoup: I feel like all of us — Rihanna, TSJ, the text’s audience, the bit in one channel that sounds like a boys’ choir, humanity — just got negged.

Will Adams: “She’ll be the girl of your dreams if you can close your eyes.” Yeah, we get it, guys. You just discovered masturbation.

Reader average: [2.8] (10 votes)

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5 Responses to “The Wanted – Walks Like Rihanna”

  1. The lyrics are really dumb, but I think it could be the soundtrack to a really, really boss Elaine Benes tribute video.

    Seriously though the lyrics are so dumb.

  2. This song and later video appeared on my Facebook news feed. Odd because I was sure no one I was friends with liked them and I certainly hadn’t subscribed to their page. I did however “like” Rihanna’s fan page some 5+ years ago and according to Facebook, that meant this song, which only has any relation to Rihanna at all due to the namedrop in the title, counted as Rihanna-related news that I would theoretically be interested in.

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure more thought went into figuring out how best to make the above scenario and probably a hundred scenarios like it happen through social media and online searches relating to Rihanna than went into constructing this barely-there chorus.

  3. 90% of the lyrics are hilarious (I do like the “boom boom” bit), but I chose to ignore them, pretty much. On what I guess is the positive side, I feel this might well be the beginning of the end for The Wanted. Their last single did pretty awfully, so unless this finds an audience outside of their (presumably ever-dwindling) fanbase then they might be in trouble, as much as they can play the ‘solitary hit in America’ card.

    Will’s observation made me laugh.

  4. BOOM, WILL! <3

  5. I really don’t understand a single thing about this song, to be honest.