Only The Young - Something About The Way You Look Tonight

Despite being a dedicated follower for 10 years I have sadly not had the time to indulge in X Factor as much as I would like this series. That certainly hasn't stopped one particular act on the show from shining so blooming bright that they transcended the boundaries of the show and shimmied into my pop consciouness. Yup, thanks to the magic of the YouTube, I've become ever so smitten with pop's next greatest hope Only The Young. There's a lot to love about Charlie, Mikey, Parisa and Betsy, the four talented lads and lasses that make up the group - not only do the boys have amazing pop star hair and the girls an aspirational yet accessible style, they practically radiate joy and positivity in everything that they do. They were a fully formed, marketable commodity when they arrived for auditions - I have nothing against the solo-auditionees-become-a-group type acts that the show puts together (it's worked wonders for One Direction and Little Mix), but it's nice to have a group in that category that actually auditioned as a group. This has served them well in terms of having a palpable chemistry that pitches them somewhere as a contemporary blend of Same Difference, Alphabeat and Bodies Without Organs (click on each for their finest moment!) And although their time was cut short on the show (via "flash vote" elimination, BAH), there's certainly a lot more for them to offer to the world of music in 2015...

...What's always been fascinating to me about Only The Young is their intricate involvement in the arrangements of the songs that they sing. They are able to deconstruct the structure of the tune and rebuild it in a way that feels familiar yet fresh, earnest yet exciting. This was perhaps demonstrated best this very weekend when they took my favourite Elton John song (Something About The Way You Look Tonight) and turned it from a soaring bombastic ballad into a percolating yet equally uplifting pop gem. From it's handclap beat to the showcasing of their individual (and harmonised collective) vocals to the moment where the instruments fade away for an arms in the air euphoric middle 8, everything about the song encapsulated the very essence of Only The Young while also demonstrating their innate understanding of pop music. And there's the genius of the band - there's no snobbery in the music they perform; they are just as capable as doing Charli XCX as they are of doing the Monster Mash. Translate that into their own penned tunes and they have the recipe for greatness. As long as they remember pop fans encompass a broad range of ages (not just "kiddies" as Cheryl would often point out as their fan base) I think 2015 will be their year. I await the results with eager anticipation :)
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