NFB Listens To Number Ones: “My Baby’s Waiting” – Industry

If you saw that title and immediately thought “Who?”, then welcome to the club. I hadn’t a clue who this crowd were, or what this song was, but a quick Wiki search informed me that not only was this a number one for a week in 2009, it wasn’t even the band’s only number one, the other being “Burn” from the same year, another song I have no memory of. Oh, and yes, that is Donal Skehan – yes, the perpetually baby-faced celebrity chef – as one quarter of this late-era hybrid pop group (he apparently also attempted to represent Ireland at the Eurovision the same year we embarrassed ourselves with Dustin). You know this kind of group: a few attractive guys, a few attractive girls (the latter tending to dominate things vocally), a non-offensive image, some overly-choreographed stage dancing, and you have yourselves a hit single in the making.

The band broke up a year after this and that’s not terribly surprising, because this song is terrible. The reek of Steps or Six or Liberty X is all over this, an overly-manufactured, stilted, soulless exercise in making something that will generate a quick buck before it vanishes into the ether. I know that sounds really harsh but I have a strong distaste for songs like this, that remind me of that time reality talent shows had way too much influence on what got on the airwaves. Just look at some of these lyrics: “Hold your letters tight, read them every night, they can’t say my name, won’t love me right”, yuck. Or “The sun won’t shine forever, not unless we make it shine together”: the rhyming dictionary really got worn out on this one. And the kicker, the really obnoxious repeating of the song’s title in the chorus, with an accompaniment of sterile violins that sound like they are from a digital recreation instead of live recorded.

The music industry and its listeners were already moving on from these kinds of creations at the time with 2009’s charts seeing a move to the more exceptional (and distinctly American), whether it was in performance or look: Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida, etc. This was also the year of the “Killing In The Name” campaign. As such, Industry seem like they were more of a last hurrah, in Ireland anyway, for that period of intergender pop. It really was a case of good riddance: again I know I sound harsh, but this is really dreadful music. Oh, and that music video: you can tell how much care was put into this group with the way that aspect ratio was allowed to be as it is, or those moments when the audio isn’t synching with the artists’ mouths. There’s a great shot in it of Skehan walking down the road moodily, and I’m pretty sure he’s just walking overly-slow, instead of it being slow-motion. Just like everything else about the band, it seems cheap. He is better off cooking.

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