Many people talk about the curse of the difficult second album, but for second-tier pop groups like The Saturdays, it’s the third album that can be a real pisser. The first allows an act to announce themselves, the second to firmly establish their place in the market. But by the third, if they haven’t proven themselves enough to graduate to the big leagues, a once-hot group can discover that their fanbase is rapidly losing interest.
The Saturdays managed to extend their fifteen minutes by repackaging their second album not once, but twice after it initially flopped. But by the end of 2011 – with their largely mediocre third album proper crashing out of the charts at an alarming pace – there was no getting away from the fact that they still hadn’t achieved a true crossover classic to rival the best of the Spice Girls, Girls Aloud or even the likes of B*Witched and Eternal. Legacy-wise, they’re likely to fall somewhere between Atomic Kitten and The Honeyz.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, and to their credit they’ve churned out a number of perfectly enjoyable, if instantly forgettable, pop confections. It’s just unfortunate that one of their very best songs is likely to get lost in their inevitable descent into reality TV oblivion.
White Lies is as faceless as anything, but the manic, synth drenched chorus is one of the most addictive I’ve heard all year. It also employs that wonderful pop trick where everything drops out in the middle-eight only to come surging back to the power of 11 for the final chorus. The lyrics don’t bear much scrutiny – in fact they appear to be total nonsense – but if rhyming dictionary hooks are your bag, you won’t do much better. Rush it out girls, and end things on a relative high before Ant & Dec come calling…