It’s all gone a bit meta again on Planet Pop! The winds of nostalgia and homage are a ‘blowin’ through Girl Group / Boy Band Land.

First, The Wanted hit us with their new video for ‘Walks Like Rihanna’, in which they re-enact iconic videos by 90s boy bands ‘N Sync, The Backstreet Boys and Take That. Now, The Saturdays are at it with their brand new single ‘Gentleman’.

The artwork features Frankie Sandford, Mollie King, Rochelle Humes, Una Healy and Vanessa White “suit & tied” (& hatted) looking like All Saints did on the cover of their greatest hits compilation ‘All Hits’. The track (written by Priscilla Renea) is the second single from The Saturdays’ eagerly awaited, US-recorded fifth album and follows their first UK #1 hit ‘What About Us’. It’s a funky, tongue-in-cheek pastiche of the 90s urban, R&B-pop sound. There’s rapping (courtesy of Rochelle), SWVesque harmonising, call-and-response, DJ-scratching, and even some cheerleader chanting. It’s Cleopatra ‘Comin’ Atcha’ on an All Saints ‘Bootie Call’, sprinkled with TLC and Salt-N-Pepa. (OK, maybe the last two are a bit of a stretch, but I think you catch my drift.)

The sound is a clear departure from The Saturdays’ previous work, which ranged from frisky Euro- and synth-pop songs and ballads (‘Forever Is Over’, ‘Issues’, ‘Higher’) to more EDM-tinged floor-fillers (‘All Fired Up’); and along with its slick cross-dressing promo visuals, ‘Gentleman’ marks a major re-branding of the girls. With repeated listens however, the song raises far more questions than it answers. Why was ’95 such a good vintage year for gentlemen? Or husbands in ’99, for that matter? (By the by, is THAT what Dappy from N-Dubz has been saying all these years? NaNaNaiii = ’99?!) If 90s gentlemen were so fab, why are none of them mentioned during the name-dropping rap? And why is that list of largely American men so scatter-shot: Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Ludacris and Larry King?! (And if Kanye isn’t a gentleman, why him?) Are The Saturdays shamelessly trying to appeal to their newly acquired target – the US market?

At any rate, as the final synth notes loop out at the end of the song, who really cares about answers anyway? ‘Gentleman’ is exceedingly catchy and the very cheezeball and naughty-lite nature of the lyrics (“’Cause most dudes just hit it and quit it and then they wonder why most girls just spit it”; “You had his baby, so you might got him for now / He already had the milk, so why would he go buy the cow?”), means that they will surely be hollered out at many a girls’ or hen-night this summer and beyond. If this new single is any flavour indicator, I think we’ll definitely be “tasting” the Saturdays’ “rainbow” for some time to come!

Watch The Saturdays – ‘Gentleman’ below: