For The Wanted’s first single of the year they’ve enlisted the almighty Dr. Luke as co-writer and producer. The track’s sound is noticeably more guitar-based than their previous electro/dance-pop offerings. ‘Walks Like Rihanna’ is basically a perfect summer anthem. Although the verses drag a little, the chorus is outrageously catchy, and the ‘hearts go boom boom BOOM BOOM BOOM’ middle eight is enough of a stomper to get everyone’s hands in the air. The tongue-in-cheek lyrical ‘lad-ness’ is just silly enough to not stray into cringe-worthy territory.
In this three-and-half minute farce, the boys happily take the piss out of themselves by re-creating legendary video treatments from some major past boy groups like The Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC. The girl who ‘walks like Rihanna’ is their video director, and the boys are so shamelessly ogling her that they’re doing a dirt-poor job at being pop stars. A very similar video concept has been done more hilariously before, back in 2000 by Blink 182 with their massive punk/pop hit ‘All The Small Things’. It also has a lot in common with One Direction’s video for ‘Kiss You.’ But who cares? The boys look reasonably cute as they’re ridiculously fawning over the model (who at no point in the video actually walks like Rihanna, by the way). The song is strong enough for it to give you a bit of a smile, rather than a shudder.
If there’s one song that could help get the group really cracking in the US, this will be the one. Other projects up the group’s sleeve include The Wanted Life – a reality show that will start airing in June, and a tour of Australia, Europe, and Japan. Their third, currently untitled album has been getting pushed back since December 2012. Perhaps this song will finally give The Wanted’s management and record company the push it needs to solidify some details.
‘Walks Like Rihanna’ will be released on June 23.