Overplayed Song of the Week: The Wanted, ‘Glad You Came’

Every week, Hollywood Prospectus editor and masochistically devoted mainstream-radio listener Emily Yoshida will pick an aging Top 40 hit that she has heard enough times to render the song meaningless, and thus likely to inspire otherwise inaccessible epiphanies.

Weeks on Chart: 37
Peak: No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, March 31, 2012
Current Radio Play Frequency Like no. 85 or something on KIIS FM’s Playlist

[Lyrics]

The Wanted are a British boy band who are generally considered to be the older, more dangerous version of One Direction. There is also, apparently, some Wanted–One Direction beef, which means that you have to pick which side you are on right now. If I’m going strictly off of the songs I’ve heard of each (which is a limited but fair sampling, I think), I’m probably Team Wanted. Once Sasha Frere-Jones pointed out in The New Yorker that all 1D songs sound like Katy Perry, whatever luster there was kind of wore off for me. The Wanted just sound like five hot dudes singing different versions of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” (Cruz worked on their debut album, which of course he did), which I can’t picture myself getting sick of anytime soon.

The Wanted were signed by Scooter Braun earlier this year, putting them in a small, strange, but important-feeling family that includes Carly Rae Jepsen, Psy, Justin Bieber, and um, Asher Roth. They are losing the Brit Boy Band war by a pretty big margin, which makes me wonder if we all put stock in the Schoolboy Records factory too soon. Braun might be the Microsoft of the pop-music world; he can launch a Vista or Zune-grade flash-in-the-pan/flop on a yearly basis (sorry, guys, I don’t think the Carly Rae Jepsen train goes much further than here), but it’s OK since Windows/Bieber is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The Wanted’s failure to really blow up is puzzling because they make a lot of sense commercially. Maybe they’ll end up being the Windows Phone in this questionable analogy.

Anyway, this song has been out for a really long time, and it isn’t really overplayed anymore, but it still pops up about once a week in my musical universe to remind me of how great it is.

Lyrical notes: Half of the reason I love this song is its giggle-inducing double-entendre title, which you are crazy if you don’t think is intentional. And while the song’s logic holds up much more if its a song about being happy about someone else’s presence, the “dirty” reading of it is actually equally sweet. Think about it:

The sun goes down
The stars come out
And all that counts
Is here and now
My universe will never be the same
I’m glad you came
I’m glad you came

This guy’s universe will never be the same! Either these dudes are hyperbolically ecstatic that you showed up at their Ibiza yacht party, or they are experiencing celestial levels of bliss due to the fact that you had an orgasm. It’s hard to complain about either scenario. This is a very emotionally and sexually healthy song. I could see it being played in particularly liberal junior high health classes, if it weren’t for the vaguely threatening “drink it if you can” line in the bridge. Although, it’s also possible to read that as a possible opt-out from peer-pressure-induced intoxication. In which case, also very considerate.

Production notes: The other half of why I love this song is that it is the warm, life-loving, minor key, whoa-oa-laden dance anthem mirror image of Britney Spears’s second-best song, the cold, apocalyptic, minor key, whoa-oa-laden dance anthem “Till the World Ends” (go ahead, listen to it again, you won’t be sorry). The songs were released in the spring and summer of 2011, respectively, but they’ve had a long tail of replayability, and now I can switch between them every equinox for my go-to jam. If I were Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect I’d definitely make a mash-up of them (It’d probably lower on my list of priorities if I was Girl Talk or whoever). For now, I’ll just keep both YouTube tabs open and quickly switch over to the other song when the wordless chorus kicks in. Sometimes I get bored by the build and drop, and how every dance-pop song is essentially the same, but most of the time it makes me feel like I really have a handle on the universe.

Filed Under: Britney Spears, On Repeat, One Direction, Pop Music

yoshida_headshot

Emily Yoshida is an editor at Grantland.

Archive @ emilyyoshida