Single Review: The Saturdays – Gentleman
Perhaps The Sats noticed the weather forecast when pondering when to release their second single from the as-yet-untitled-but-it-isn’t-called-colonial-masses new album because as the sun began to make it’s first few appearances, they emerge with probably the sunniest tune in their catalogue. If ‘Missing You’ was an Ibiza-jam, ‘Gentleman’ is a distinctly British affair with it’s flourishes of attitude and sounding the most like the girls behind the music – it’s as if ‘Gentleman’ is the first time we’re actually hearing what The Saturdays have to say.
What they have to say, you might have realised, if that they really like men. Skip straight to the rap, if you’d like to know who Vanessa White is interested in dating but if you’re here for the music, stick it out for the choruses which are the undisputed and unchallenged high point. The funk vibes sound closer to Bruno Mars and Olly Murs than any of their fellow girl band rivals, which is a relief – there is, however, a hint of Girls Aloud in the cutting lyrics, including an unexpected, thinly veiled innuendo regarding tasting ones rainbow. Filthy. Back to that chorus, though- it’s easily the main focus of the entire arrangement and relies entirely on the vocal hook to do the magic with the beats refusing to shift much higher than a mid-tempo.
It’s the definition of a grower. It is so sparse and simplistic that the first few plays will probably leave you cold. It isn’t as storming as it could have been – if they’d made more of an effort with the verses to match the brilliant lyrics then we might be talking about a contender for ‘Higher’s throne. It might have also benefited from a bridge, the chorus just appears out of nowhere, but when it arrives all is forgiven and forgotten. I even have to give kudos to the ladies for the pro-90s chant which will surely appeal to a few nostalgic hearts around the country. Go 90s, indeed.
Simply put, if ‘Gentleman’ was an album track, we’d be over the moon upon hearing it but for it to be a second single for a campaign that many believe could be make or break for the girls – it’s a very big risk. Whether you love it or loathe it, you have to admit that it’d be much easier for the girls to carry on the tried and tested formula of working in the style that is currently ruling the charts – ‘What About Us’ being the obvious example. With this song, the girls have proven that they are no longer complacent with mild success and have a thirst for, not only furthering it, but developing their sound too.
The fact remains that ‘Gentleman’ sounds nothing like any of their peers and throughout their career, The Saturdays have failed to achieve such a stance until now. It might not be perfect or as massive as their biggest hits on first listen, but it’s a grower with a magnificent chorus and a step in the right direction for the girls – a step into carving The Saturdays’ own unique selling point.
Words: Simon McMurdo