Yesterday, I proclaimed that Mollie King was coming back to save pop.
Here she is now, a day later, saving pop — or, at least, invoking nostalgia for a very specific time in British pop music approximately one decade ago.
After kicking off her career with the chill electro-balladry of “Back To You,” The Saturdays member-turned-solo star’s gone back to her banging Xenomania roots with her follow up, “Hair Down.”
The song’s a mess…but in a great way?
Instantly reminiscent of the rollicking production and nonstop lyrical madness of Girls Aloud (“Sexy! No No No” but “na na na”?), The Saturdays (obviously, a la “All Fired Up”) and Alesha Dixon (“The Boy Does Nothing”) in their heyday, “Hair Down” is a boldly in-your-face, aggressively anti-Top 40 radio choice for 2017.
The first verse is lunacy from the get-go: “Pleased to meet you, barbershop quartet / But that means you obviously ain’t getting any sex / You need to brush up on your harmony / The way you’re crooning doesn’t work for me!” (Barbershop quartets around the world are already preparing their #BOYCOTTMOLLIEKING protest signs.)
And the second verse is…some sort of mish-mosh of football metaphors? “You never thought I’d have a striker sitting on the bench.” As if the target audience for this song knows a damn thing about a “substitution in the second half.”
Then again, the only thing that’ll be lodged in your brain for hours afterward is one simple, grating, sax-filled taunt of a hook: “NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA.”
It’s camp, catchy, brash, trashy, likely divisive and certainly not cool by modern standards — just how I like it.
Miss King is quite the Queen for this one. Saxy! Yes, yes, yes.
“Hair Down” was released on September 1. (iTunes)