Suite 16 - Who I Wanna Be

Stream Who I Wanna Be here (Spotify)

I am quite late to the party when it comes to the latest single by ace Norwegian boy band Suite 16. Their gorgeous single Who I Wanna Be has already gone platinum in their native Norway - and feels like a throwback to one of those old school classic ballads that would go from strength to global strength based on word of mouth. When I was growing up, songs like Living In A Box's Room In Your Heart, Roxette's Listen To Your Heart and The Bangles' Eternal Flame didn't emerge as the massive hits they went on to be - they quietly, but confidently had faith in their own enduring lyrics and timeless melodies. They didn't require flashy campaigns, just people telling their friends about the emotive music that had been wrought. Who I Wanna Be fits effortlessly alongside these evergreens - a focus on languorous, mellifluous melody and elegant, relatable lyrics. Penned by the talented Gavin Jones and Alex Shields, the lyrics are all about that yearning part of us that longs to be someone different - and the self-belief that requires to be a better person. This inspirational message is wrapped up in a folksy instrumental that is structured around a delicate, pretty guitar riff that is interspersed with bold, dynamic percussion when the chorus kicks in and that anthemic refrain begins to soar. There's a tremulous lead vocal that guides the song forward - I certainly don't mean that as a negative; rather, he embodies the emotions at play in the narrative and uses them to imbue his singing with the sentiments required to make the song believable. When all the lads join for the chorus, it's that timeless style boy band wall of sound that will never grow old. Just lovely - and a charming pick me up after a bad day. Here's hoping they make it to England soon - with One Direction on the outs, the market is wide open for a group just like this.
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