The 25th of November is a date that many people in the UK will keep in mind. Why you ask ?
Simply because one of UK’s biggest pop-band is coming back 12 years after their last official album came out.
You heard me, BUSTED IS BACK. CHARLIE’S BACK.
Everybody who’s a 90’s kid will have heard by now the world famous song « Year 3000 » (later covered by the Jonas Brothers along side What I Go To School For).
(Here’s Year 3000 just to reminisce and be full of teenage-feels from back then)
And everybody was heartbroken when they decided to disband, initiated by singer-guitarist Charlie Simpson.
But the past is the past, and now moving on, everybody’s glad to have them back !
I have to admit, it’s a bit selfish when I say that I’m glad Busted’s back (and you’ll understand why later) but let’s review a bit the past 3 years to ponder over this great return to the stage and into our music libraries !
*2013, Mcfly played the Royal Albert Hall and surprised everyone by inviting band members Matt Willis and James Bourne to the stage, playing Air Hostess, Year 3000 and Shine A Light. One month later, supergroup McBusted is officially announced with an album in progress. Together they toured the world opening for One Direction on the European dates and Australian dates before finally headlining Hyde Park festival with the Backstreet Boys and The Vamps. Later on, december 2014, it’s official ! McBusted’s record is out ! Reviews are mixed and fans of both bands are happy to have their super heroes altogether in a band while Busted fans rejoice in hearing their favorite tunes live again and McFly fans are both happy to have Mcfly on stage and sad to see the sixth album pushed back for a couple more years.
*2015 proved to be of great success with a sold out tour throughout the UK in support to their album McBusted and with the MEAT (Most Extreme Adventure Tour) filled with scenes more and more extravagant and video games-like. I personally remember crying like a baby to What Happened To Your Band, Beautiful Girls and Star Girl.
Everybody had finally came to term with McBusted and felt they were a bit ready to accept that maybe to see one band you had to see both. I know I did too, but then again, you might be surprised…
It cames as a shock when finally, after much speculations, Charlie DID came back !
Tuesday November 10th, 2015. I remember going to work in the morning, and receiving a text from my bff, who was super excited cause first of all it had been announced that Good Charlotte was opening for the Back To Future Hearts Tour in feb’16 and then, even more excitement because… *drumrolls*
BUSTED WAS BACK.
In a very emotional video, using their most touching and heartbreaking song Meet You There in a revisited version, you could hear Matt and James talk and reminisce over the Busted memories before finally having Charlie meet them up and announcing his return to the band. (That you can watch below and bring on the tissues !)
I admit, I kinda teared up a bit. Charlie is an amazing singer and even though I had seen some of the Busted songs live with McBusted, there’s nothing like hearing the songs live by original band.
Get this: Why, Air Hostess, Crashed The Wedding, MEET YOU THERE, Britney, Year 300, What I Go To School For. All these songs that basically introduced me to pop-rock bands, I now had the chance and opportunity to see them live !
Following the announcement, Busted posted a revisited version of Meet You There, as an abbey road exclusive, with James on the Piano, Matt on the chorus and Charlie back on the guitar. Seeing the three of them live was good again, and then came a tour. DUN DUN DUN. Tickets flew by like crazy and I couldn’t get a ticket to the show except in OMFG zone.
It’s rare to have a band perform their new songs especially when they haven’t been out yet, but that’s what they did, and I regret not going to the show, cause had I known how great the album was gonna be, I DEFINITELY would have went there.
First single to have been out and first track on the album (knowing the tour was beginning at the end of April through May), Coming Home got put out for free on the band’s website. It drew much attention mainly cause we didn’t know what to expect. Bands grow and change style sometimes, but you always find a little touch of what struck them to you in the first place. This took the band to the next stage, which was releasing a new song that wasn’t as « kiddie » as it used to be and less « fun-I’ll never grow up » kinda song, but more with an indé-style touch, cool new synths line and powerful chorus screaming « I’M COMING HOME » as if it was meant as if Busted was coming home to their arena tours and fame and most importantly, the heart of the fans. Plus it has some kind of « SKINS anthem » that could have been totally exploited by the tv series had it still been running.
Second single On What You’re On explores the band’s try-outs with a kind of Daft Punk vibe, Charlie never ceases to amaze with his powerful voice and Matt’s magical bass. James sure knows how to write a hit that’ll make you want to dance !
Third and last single released was One Of A Kind, before heading straight to D-day ! This time James surprised us with a nice synth solo and we have a beautiful (yet to calm for me crowd-wise) live footage to that gorgeous love anthem !
Now, after 12 years of waiting, and having finally the record at the tip of my fingers (not yet in hands, but it’ll come), I can tell you that it was worth the wait !
Maybe I’ve grown up too, and if you had presented me with this record when I was 18 or 20, I’d have said that it was too much and that I was expecting something more pop-rock, considering we got used to have 90% guitars and 10% added effects.
Now, it’s 25% guitars, 25% synths, 25% powerful chorus sang by long-time missed Charlie/gorgeous Matt/talented James, 25% 80’s vibe (but the good kind).
STAND OUT TRACKS ON THE ALBUM: My favorite tracks on the record (putting aside the singles already out)
New York, all I can hear on that is « I’m a little bit tired, I’m a little hungover, I don’t know how to spend the day, As the city gets brighter, in the moment I wonder, how I let you slip away » when thinking of an old flame that got away. When listening to that song, I can close my eyes and picture myself returning to NYC as if I had lived there my whole life (which I haven’t yet and have never been there) and coming back to an old friend who’ll welcome me with open arms to help heal your sorrows and yet everything around you is imprinted with memories.
Thinking Of You, you could basically fall in love to that song. When I listen to it, I picture myself driving down the Cali coast, sun is setting, I’m driving down in a convertible, sunglasses on, feet on the board, and my loved one beside.
Without It, this song is an anthem to anyone who was in a relationship where efforts only went one way. It’s kinda sad, but unfortunately it happens too many times nowadays that some people settle for someone nice just because they’re nice, but don’t really care and end up hurting that said person.
Easy, yet another broken-hearted anthem, no need for much explanation, I’ll let this one line saying it all « goodbye is never easy » . If you’ve had to say goodbye to someone you love and still have feelings for them or just like to think about the past from time to time, that song’s for you !
Those Days Are Gone, starting with a mellow piano and Charlie’s mesmerizing voice, after a powerful chorus, it takes back with a duo between Charlie and James, leading to an upbeat tempo, summer tune to a summer fling ending, when we were young and believed in love and falling in love within a second.
Sometimes, music has that effect on people: make them discover new emotions, remember how they felt at a certain moment, or simply give them an escape for a few seconds.
I was expecting a lot from that new Busted record, considering they were one of the first bands I remember discovering by myself and listening to, and though I was expecting old Busted, I am glad to say I’ve been surprised and happy to discover the new Busted and most importantly, feel all those things again at once, gathered up in an album.
WELCOME BACK LADS.
Night Driver, out November 25th , GO BUY IT ON ITUNES OR GRAB A PHYSICAL COPY.
BONUS MUSIC VIDEO FOR MY FAVORITE: THOSE DAYS ARE GONE