I took some time to listen to the songs of both boy groups last night, and thought of writing a blog that compared the two Brit boybands side-by-side.
Take note: I want only to compare, and not to specifically try to find out which group is better, and unless it’s pretty clear that a particular group excels in a specific aspect (i.e. vocals), that will be the only time I’ll specifically cite which group I feel excels in said aspect, ‘kay?
1. Image (Age, Looks and Overall Look)
Unless you’re blind, you’ll probably agree that both bands are definitely lookers. Why else would they have girls going gaga over them if they weren’t? However, that doesn’t ALWAYS mean that if you like one group, you’ll be going just as crazy over the other.
The Wanted’s youngest member is Nathan Sykes, who is only 19, yet he’s even older than Harry Styles, who just turned eighteen last year. 1D’s oldest member (Louis Tomlinson) is three years younger than The Wanted’s older members: Max George, Siva Kaneswaran and Tom Parker. It shows us these two groups, despite having hailed from the same country, are actually not that close in age at all. It’s a factor like this that plays into other aspects of the band, like their look, their music and the market that they’re looking to attract.
Being the younger group, One Direction’s boys are alarmingly cute and remind you of the boys you were crushing on in highschool. For some girls, they are the boys who they’re crushing on in highschool, and that makes them wholesome in more ways than one. They’re what some people would call: universally cute.
The Wanted, however, being the older group, don’t quite have the ‘universally cute’ vibe. They aren’t neccessarily a group with a butt-ugly member, but there’s something about them that screams acquired taste. Some may think that they have the upper hand considering they have Siva (who was a model before he joined the band), but that’s not the case. They’re hot as heck, but that doesn’t mean everybody thinks so.
Picture yourself going into the hottest club on a Friday evening, and that’s where you might find the boys from the Wanted. Walk into a British primary school or a swank private school (like Eton :D) and maybe, just maybe… that’s where you’ll find Harry, Niall, Louis, Liam and Zayn. N’uff said.
It doesn’t take a tone-deaf person to recognize that the boys from 1D have the upper hand here (there, I said it!). I listened to videos of both groups performing their singles (Glad You Came and One Thing, respectively), and I found that despite being able to all hold a tune, the boys of the Wanted can’t do the same vocal acrobatics as One Direction. Plus, their harmonies are way better (listen to the acoustic video of One Thing, and you’ll see what I mean)
On the other hand, the Wanted have the upper hand when it comes to musical talents beyond vocals. A video of the boys’ Iris cover shows Siva and Tom playing guitar, while only Niall plays an instrument (see One Thing music video). But then again, Niall’s been playing since childhood. 😉 Overall, both bands can actually hold a tune, but 1D’s better.
3. Music Videos
It’s all a matter of rugged vs. cutesy, mature vs. youthful and old vs. young. The video for Glad You Came shows the boys partying with some bikini-clad chicks, while What Makes You Beautiful documents a trip to a ‘private’ beach and no partying whatsoever. In the end, it’s a matter of preference, as both are pretty good and do well to really compliment both singles.
Both groups cover pop, but it’s the addition of dance-pop to The Wanted’s repertoire that set them apart and give them the ‘excuse’ to not have as much vocal prowess as 1D. Majority of TW’s songs are upbeat, and the 16-second non-vocal part during the start of Glad You Came exudes the group’s dance-pop vibe, which is just what they want their fans to know them for. One Direction has yet to release a club-type single, as most of their songs are reminiscent of how the Beatles ‘spoke’ to their fans with songs that used the word ‘you’ frequently, and their singles aren’t meant to be danceable, but listen-able. Overall, we’re looking at two boy groups targetting two very different markets.
The Wanted has been around longer than One Direction, but the boys from the XFactor seem to be more successful, considering they’ve been touted as the ‘next British invasion’. ‘Glad You Came’ proved to be The Wanted’s breakout single, and even if they’ve been around for two years, it’s the only time they’ve gotten decent exposure for their music, as they were known only in the UK.