The Badger Reviews: Derry Girls
Arts, Film & Theatre
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The Badger Reviews: Derry Girls

Sophie Coppenhall - February 22, 2018
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5 Comments

The Saturdays – ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ (Polydor)

Anyone who likes uninspired covers of classic songs which add nothing to the original track have got something wrong in the head (if you belong to this category then I apologise, but your deficiency couldn’t be kept from you forever). With this in mind it’s a pretty safe bet that anyone with even half a brain won’t enjoy The Saturdays’ pitiful attempt at ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, this year’s official single for Comic Relief.

What we have to ask ourselves then is not whether the track is any good – it’s clearly just a weak version of Depeche Mode’s original, speeded up a bit with a generic pop beat plonked behind it – but whether its blatant lack of innovation is excusable because, you know, “it’s all for a good cause”.

Well, I’m sorry but it’s not. Comic Relief already has a lot to answer for in providing a platform for Lenny Henry and his bunch of has-been chums to churn out their flacid brand of ‘comedy’ year after year, and as far as I’m concerned this tedious single is another excuse to boycott the whole thing.

If you still feel obliged to go out and buy the single in support of the cause then you’re probably a good person. Personally I find the utter banality of the track so offensive I’m more inclined to invest my money in a sweatshop somewhere out of spite.

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  1. Contrary to the ‘professional’ prejudices of the Badger, proprietors of pop The Saturdays are releasing a convincing 21st century remake of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” (which has been instantly romanticised – it only got to number 8). The overwhelming temptation to launch an attack based on pointless nostalgia has lead to the assumption that this charity single is simply generic and predictable pop. The Saturdays represent the better side of contemporary pop music, fusing looks, songs and, unlike many of their counterparts, an element of actual musical capability (1).

    Despite your reservations about Comic Relief itself, The Saturdays have immersed themselves in the spirit of the cause, touring the UK visiting organisations helped by the charity, and creating the greatest exposure for the event. Evidence (2) suggests that The Saturdays are keen on pop philanthropy, but sexier than Bono.

    The Saturdays are a tour de force for contemporary pop music, not to be labeled ‘uninspiring’, ‘pitiful’, or ‘tedious’:

    a) The Saturdays can deal with difficult live situations (3)
    b) The band embody a pioneering use of new media and a interface with their fans unparalleled by any other pop group today (4) (5)
    c) The band members have extensive and unrivaled experience – Their CV ranges from winning The Glinsk Song Contest twice, West End productions of the Lion King, the X Factor, and S Club Juniors! How can you argue with that!

    An ill-informed and predictable attack on pop is easy, but is far from justified where The Saturdays are concerned. Their brand of pop is revolutionary and to dismiss them as anything but would be a mistake.

    (1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiMPFmlVn7k
    (2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48t4cZDx5gs&feature=channel_page
    (3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXVHItWOU58
    (4)www.thesaturdays.co.uk
    (5)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7IwmyLWmag&NR=1

    Reply
  2. Beth and Luke

    Thank you for your response, I have a sneaking suspicion that you might work for The Saturdays’ PR company… if I’m wrong then they should certainly employ you!

    I’m sorry that you considered my review to be an ‘attack based on pointless nostalgia’, and would like to answer a few of the issues that you raise:

    Firstly, you seem to miss the fact that the review focuses on this particular single, not The Saturdays in general. I think if you read the review again you’ll discover that I do not call The Saturdays ‘uninspiring’ or ‘tedious’ or ‘pitiful’; all of these adjectives are reserved solely for this particular cover. If you must know, I have a guilty fondness for the band in general, and have been humming that ‘Issues’ song to myself perhaps more often than I should admit.

    Regarding this single, I stand by everything that I said. I do not dislike it for purely ‘nostalgic’ reasons. When I describe the original as ‘classic’ I mean well known, famous etc. There are plenty of ‘classic’ songs that do nothing for me at all, and I am far from Depeche Mode’s biggest fan. I dislike The Saturdays’ version because it adds absolutely nothing to the original. Nothing at all. Please, if you disagree with me and can explain in what ways it improves upon Depeche Mode’s version, or tries to do anything remotely imaginative with it then, believe me, I am all ears. But it is the complete and utter lack of imagination evident in the track that riles me so much; nothing to do with The Saturdays, pop music in general, or some blind devotion to the original track.

    Now on to the YouTube clips you cite to prove that the band are, in fact, ‘revolutionary’. I enjoyed the clip of the band (and some male members I didn’t recognise) in the live lounge, which apparently demonstrates their ‘musical capability’. I see that at least one of the girls can strum a guitar. This is lovely. I wonder though, who exactly is it playing the percussion? Or the acoustic bass? And who is that other guitarist who seems to be playing all the complicated bits? Is it Frankie? Or Mollie? Una? Vanessa? Rochelle? Is that what they look like minus make-up / photoshopping……?

    I am also glad that The Saturdays can cope with ‘difficult live situations’. The clip certainly seems to prove that, lo and behold, the band can actually sing; rather than just move their lips in time to a backing track they actually utilise their vocal chords to make… sounds! Revolutionary! You are right, popular music will never be the same again!

    Excuse the sarcasm, but if you hadn’t guessed I’m finding it quite difficult to take your response entirely seriously. Don’t get me wrong, The Saturdays are a perfectly competent pop band and, apart from ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, have released some pretty decent singles. But revolutionary? Maybe not.

    Ben

    Reply
  3. Hi Ben

    Thanks for responding to our somewhat hyperbolic outburst! I guess we, like the Saturdays, all have ‘issues’ with other peoples’ musical preferences. We think the Live and Kicking Intro-esque instrumental in the middle of The Saturdays’ version gives it a certain edge over Depeche Mode, but, as you say, there are many similarities as well.

    We don’t work for the PR company unfortunately, but this would make a bloody good cover sheet for any speculative applications we send their way!

    Beth and Luke

    Reply
  4. I guess ultimately everything comes down to musical preference!

    If you’d like to have your own musical opinion espoused by The Badger instead of my rambling, then its very easy to get involved writing album / gig reviews etc. we always need writers!

    Ben

    Reply

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