Preview Review: Parade Marches On With Major Comeback Track, “Light Me Up”

Remember Parade?

You might. The UK girl group first popped up on my radar (on my ray-duh) around fall of 2010,when the fivesome was busy touting their debut single “Louder” on a national UK school tour–later opening for Alexandra Burke. And while their first managed to crack the Top 10 in the UK back in March last year, their next single, “Perfume,” stalled at #38, and their debut album premiered at the rather abysmal #171. Basically, it was all a little bleak.

The stalled start wasn’t unjustified, though. As PopJustice pointed out in a write-up about Parade a few weeks ago, the entire campaign seemed uninspired and half-hearted–and while there were some gems, the music wasn’t at all worth shaking and crying about.

So, that happened. But now, like Mimi, they’ve decided to stand up, shake it off and begin anew.

Over the past few months, the girls have been in the studio with the likes of MNEK (The Saturdays), Ed Drewett (The Wanted), Fred Ball (JLS) and Tim Powell (The Almighty Aloud)–all of which with prior experience in carving out solid tunes for big pop groups. And now, the group’s just about ready.

To kick off their reinvention, the girls are releasing a track on August 1 called “Light Me Up,” which was penned with Tim Powell. I had the opportunity to preview the track in advance a few weeks ago, and I can confirm: It’s a smash.

Set atop bouncing, ’80’s-friendly synthesizers and propulsive drums, the song flies by with much of the kicky energy of earlier Almighty Aloud–think “Jump,” “Here We Go” or “Love Machine” from What Will The Neighbours Say.

There are plenty of great moments thrown into the song, including the especially amazing purred bridge (“Oooh, you wanna get me close/Oooh, in your fantasy!”), which leads to a rather chant-ready (and inflammatory!) chorus, as the girls beg to be burning up in the most insistent of ways: “Light me up/You gotta smoke me like a cigarette and keep me burning, burning!” (I personally don’t care for arson, but hey, to each their own.)

There’s also a Fashionable Dubstep Breakdown (FDB, for short) thrown in, as well as some vocal stutters.

All in all, “Light Me Up” makes for a much more promising breakout for the troupe. It’s also unbelievably repeat-friendly: You put it on once, and the next thing you know your apartment is literally on fire and the song’s been playing for 327 times in a row.

In the spirit of the Olympics, I’ll say that my bet’s on Parade as the newest group to carry the torch for solid girl-group pop in the UK. You can decide for yourself when the track premieres this Wednesday.

Get ready…

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