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Album review: The Wanted's 'The Wanted'

The-wanted-600
Remember a time when America wasn't inundated with richly coiffed British boy bands promising sweet nothings over high-fructose dance beats? You know, the Pax Americana of around two months ago? Now, suddenly, battle lines are drawn between the reigning group One Direction and some new contenders. The Wanted, a slightly older and stubble-dipped riff on that formula, is making its U.S. album debut with this singles-compiling EP.

Though saucier and sleeker than its peers, the Wanted isn't nearly as fun. The trancey "Glad You Came" will surely bring the walls down on British package-tour holidays from Zagreb to Mykonos. But none of the guys has an especially charismatic -- or even distinguishable -- voice, and the song's production is drag-and-drop generic. "Chasing the Sun" makes the numbing thump of Tiesto sound incomparably nuanced.

For summer fun (which is the real point of this genre, no?), One Direction feels like a refreshing Pimm's cup compared with this.

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"The Wanted"
The Wanted
Mercury/Def Jam
One and a half stars (out of four)

 
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