"Want U Back" is a song by British singer Cher Lloyd, taken from her debut studio album Sticks and Stones. It was released on February 19th, 2012 as the third single and on May 22nd, 2012 as her debut US single taken from the album.The single version of the song features guest vocals by The X Factor USA contestant Astro. It was written by Shellback and Savan Kotecha and it was produced by Shellback. Musically, Want U Back is a pop song, with elements of bubblegum pop and synthpop while the lyrics talk about jealous of an ex-boyfriend who has moved on to a new flame.
The song received positive reviews from most music critics, who praised her sassy attitude on the song and labeled it "infectious". Other critics, however, thought her excessive use of "aggressive grunting" ruins what would have been an "otherwise mediocre" song. There are two videos for the song: the UK version and the US version. Both videos feature Cher traipsing through old photographs with her former beau and some with his new girlfriend and wreaking havoc on the happy couple. The song has reached number 3 on the New Zealand Singles Chart, number 18 on the Irish Singles Chart, and number 25 on the UK Singles Chart . In the US, the song has reached number 9 on the Pop Songs chart and number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is Lloyd's most successful song to date.
Background and release
Cher Lloyd announced on 15 December 2011 that "Want U Back" would be released as the third single from her debut album Sticks + Stones. On 22 December 2011 she revealed the artwork for the single. In December 2011 Lloyd said she is hoping the track will help her crack the notoriously tough American market, saying: "It's a bit crazy because I don't expect anyone to know who I am because I live in the UK. I'm from The X Factor and I came fourth. It's crazy and it gives me a lot of hope. With the USA, I'm not going to run before I can walk but you never know what’s going to happen."The single version features The Xfactor USA contestant Astro who was mentored by L.A. Reid on the show. Reid recently signed Lloyd to Epic Records in the United States. It will be Lloyd's first single in the US, but, the version would be the version without Astro. Cher Lloyd has reported to have remixed "Want U Back" with rapper, Snoop Dogg upon its release in the US. On 20 July the remix of the song featuring Snoop Dogg premiered on US radio but it leaked the night before.
"Want U Back" was written by American songwriter Savan Kotecha and Swedish songwriter Shellback and produced by Shellback. Lyrically, it finds Cher Lloyd singing about her jealousy of her former lover and his new girlfriend. While talking about the song, Lloyd stated:
"It's basically a track from lots of different girls' stories out there. A lot of people are telling me they can relate to the track and they've been in that situation, but it's also got an element of fun in it."
"Please, this ain't even jealousy / She ain't got a thing on me / Trying to rock them ugly jeans jeans jeans," she scathes about her ex-boyfriend's new lover; trying by failing to remain serene rather than green. It is a Pop Song and features a cartoony mix of perky beats and peppy guitar. The beats and guitar, according to Digital Spy, "give the song an almost caricature quality." With Bubblegum Synth grooves banging in the back, Lloyd struggles to win back the man whom she took for granted until she saw him with his new lover.
The song received mostly favorable reviews from Music Critic's. Nick Levine from BBC Music wrote a positive review, commenting: "She's a natural and charismatic vocal presence, so much so that Want U Back even creates a recurring hook from – how to put this? – the sound of her ‘frustrated grunts’."Jon O'Brien from All wrote that the song is "an infectious example of cutesy pure pop that recall Britney before she lost her innocence." Alex Denney from NME considered it "a sassy bit of bubble-drunk pop from Britney songwriter Max Martin." Danner had previously written in another NME review that the song is "a peachy-keen pop number that goes pining after an ex, Cher drawing comfort from the fact that, even if her beloved is going out with someone else now, at least they’re only getting sloppy seconds." Joe Rivers from No Ripcord wrote that "It's packed with hooks and has Cher’s personality stamped all over it."
Lewis Corner of Digital Spy blog gave the song a positive review stating: "Truth be told, it's quite refreshing for an artist to embrace their perceived public image, but the joke is really on us. Why? Because it's Cher Lloyd who has the last laugh with another hit on her hands." X. Alexander of Idolator called it "uber-catchy song that we haven’t been able to get it out of our heads since we first heard it."Virgin Media's Matthew Horton wrote that the song has "dynamic catchy bounce." David Griffiths from 4 Music praised the track, writing: "It might not sound a million miles away from Miley Cyrus' Party In The USA'', but it's got Cher's stamp all over it. From her dead pan delivery ('Please, this ain't even jealousy, she ain't got nothin' on me') to her screams of frustration peppered throughout the track, this has the potential to be an enormous global hit." Bradley Stern from "MuuMuse" commented: "It is one of the album’s catchiest, cutest moments–even if Lloyd’s gritting her teeth and clenching her fists with rage."He further wrote: "Kicking off with a deliciously angry grunt that plays on loop (UHH!!!) the Shellback-produced track finds Lloyd ruing the day she ever stepped out on her man…who’s now being made all the happier by some other chick: 'Remember all the things that you and I did first? And now you’re doing them with her?!' Lloyd sings incredulously on the bouncing electro-pop beat, dissing the chick’s jeans and denying all charges of jealousy in the process."
"Want U Back" first appeared on the UK Singles Chart on the week ending 19 November 2011. The track debuted at number 194, following digital downloads from the respective album. The song then re-entered the chart at number 56 on the week ending 21 January 2012 - following the release of the music video and confirmation of its release as a single. On its third charting week, the song rose 30 places to number 26 with sales of 9,730.
The song debuted at number 38 on the US Pop Songs chart. It also debuted at number 95 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart, than went to 68 in the following week. It has reached number 12 on the Pop Songs chart. As of June 2012, Want U Back has sold 100,000 copies in the US. It also charted at number 39 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it debuted at number 75. The song moved to number 51 on the following week, it then charted at 35 on the third week and rose another 8 places to number 27, the week after that it rose 11 places to number 16. "Want U Back" has since peaked at number 12 on the Hot 100 number 4 on the US iTunes chart and number 5 on the Billboard Digital Songs. As of August 2012, the single has sold 902,280 copies in the US and over 100,000 copies in the UK, meaning the single has a worldwide cumulative sales total of over 1,000,000 copies. Later in August, it was confirmed that the single had sold over 1,000,000 copies in the US, meaning it has been certified Platinum.
She also recorded a live acoustic version of the song, the video of which was uploaded to YouTube on 15 December 2011.The music video for the song was uploaded to Youtube on 6 January 2012. The video was shot in Los Angeles,California. In the video Lloyd sings about her jealousy of her ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend, with the video showing Lloyd's attempts to sabotage her former love's new relationship. As Lloyd sits on her bed scanning at pictures of her and her ex, she drifts off into various schemes to drive the new couple apart. In one scene Lloyd pours a bottle of water over her former boyfriend, while in another she throws popcorn all over the loved-up pair during a trip to the cinema. Astro makes an appearance in the video to rap in the latter stages of the video, which ends with Lloyd rather curiously imitating the sounds of a helicopter .
North American Version
In 2012, Lloyd recorded an alternate video which was shown in the US. It premiered on 1 May 2012. The new video sees Lloyd confronting her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend in an American diner, while performing the track on the restaurant's counter. During the video, she gives her ex-boyfriend a strawberry smoothie and accidentally spills it on his girlfriend. The police then arrive to arrest Lloyd and take her into custody, where she is seen having a mugshot taken and eating biscuits and drinking Coke. .This version of the music video was taped at the same diner where Cee Lo Green music video for "Forget You" was taped. There is also another version of the song featuring Snoop Dogg, it is unknown whether this will just be released in the US or worldwide. With this version, the single culminates with having three versions of the same song (when including the original version, the version featuring Astro and now the version featuring Snoop Dogg).
Lloyd has performed the track live at every radio station she visited on her radio tour. The majority of these performances were done acoustically. On 25th July 2012 Lloyd made her US television debut after a performance on America's Got Talent results show, which resulted in the track peaking at No.4 on the US iTunes chart. On 30th August 2012, Lloyd performed the song, along with next single With Ur Love On Today Show to an audience of hundreds of fans.
- "Want U Back" (feat. Astro) - 3:43
- "Want U Back" (Radio Edit) - 3:33
- "Want U Back" (Acoustic Version) - 3:29
- "Want U Back" (Cahill Remix) - 5:52
- "Want U Back" (Pete Phantom Remix) - 3:55
The single culminates with having three versions of the same song (when including the original version, the version featuring Astro and now the version featuring Snoop Dogg - released to YouTube on 19 July 2012). The version with Snoop Dogg is a free download when you purchase "Sticks and Stones" on Cher's U.S. website store. There are also 2 remixes that aren't official. One with the rapper Yung Pee Wee, and the second with D.Record.
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||11|
|New Zealand (RIANZ)||3|
|Scotland (Official Chart Company)||23|
|UK Singles (Official Chart Company)||25|
|US Billboard Hot 100||12|
|US Pop Songs (Billboard)||9|
|US Adult Pop Songs (Billboard)||27|