With Justin Timberlake showing little sign of returning from what feels like the longest absence from the pop scene ever, it seems there’s a whole host of artists trying to take his place.
First there was Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend,’ which sounded like an out-take from ‘Justified.’ Then Conor Maynard, whose album ‘Contrast’ picked up where ‘FutureSexLoveSounds’ left off. And now JLS are getting in on the act with their new single, ‘Hottest Girl In The World.’
Yes, incredibly, the boyband have abandoned the brainless ‘fun in the club’ anthems such as ‘The Club Is Alive’ (possibly the worst No.1 of 2010) and the dreary ballads like ‘Proud’ (can anyone remember how this goes?). And instead they’ve gone back to the futuristic sparse funk of the former *NSYNC star’s early solo material.
Indeed, in amongst the strummed acoustic loops and busy handclap percussion, there are Michael Jackson-esque harmonies galore, a slightly cringey spoken word bit from Marvin and a soaring falsetto vocal from Aston which if it got any higher would only be audible to dogs.
Produced by Bangladesh (Beyonce, Kelis), the lead track from their fourth studio album, ‘Evolution,’ is a brave move for the boys and while it doesn’t scream instant hit, it’s definitely an improvement on The Sound Of Music-sampling trance-pop and wishy-washy MOR love songs.