Review: Busted – ‘Coming Home’

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Busted moves in a strange direction genre-wise with their first post-reunion single, and it's not for the better.

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In a similar turn to that taken by Kaiser Chiefs with recent singles ‘Parachute’ and ‘Hole In My Soul,’ Busted’s comeback takes the band in a direction that is both completely different and slightly strange. If I were to hear this as a new listener, this wouldn’t faze me, but Busted was the One Direction of my childhood. September 2002 was the era in which six-year-old me pined after James Bourne and would not stop singing ‘Year 3000’ and ‘You Said No,’ much against my parents’ behest. I may have cried when the band split and my Busted days were no more in 2004, and ‘Coming Home’ is the band’s first new music since then – though they did come back as part of the McBusted supergroup, that was only Bourne and Matt Willis, and it was announced in late 2015 that Charlie Simpson would actually be returning for a new record without the Mc.

‘Coming Home’ marks a departure from their usual pop-rock sound ahead of November’s Night Driver, replacing it in favour of an extreme 80s synthpop-inspired vibe. It’s something I wouldn’t have expected from them, which could have been a good thing. However, as much as six-year-old me loved Busted, this isn’t doing it for me. If the sound between the 1:50-2:09 mark was the how the whole song sounded, I would have been swayed, but being a (distant) fan of the band since my childhood means that this change doesn’t fit them in my mind. 80s synthpop is a genre that I’m actually a fan of – thank you, Miami Vice – but not in this instance, even though it warms my heart to hear Charlie sing again. As much as I appreciate how this change in sound draws a line between the days of being a ‘boyband’ to being grown up men, there’s something very unbalanced about how they’ve done so.

‘Coming Home’ is out now via East West

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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