While they've opted for more mature lyrical content over four-on-the-floor beats on past singles, the Dr. Luke-produced "Walks Like Rihanna" is less dance-driven. It recalls the more pop-flavored sounds that have been recorded by one-time rivals One Direction.
With less of a reliance on synths and more of a focus on the boys' sweet harmonies, the flirty lyrics are perfectly complimented by the song's instrumentation. "It's not the way she smiles/ With her little laugh/ It's not the way she looks/ In a photograph/ But all the boys/ They crowd around," they sing about the song's leading lady, who has the type of Rihanna-type swagger and strut that drives guys crazy.
The track even has the perfect sing-along bridge as the guys chant "Our hearts go boom boom." The song is the lead single off their next album, due out later this year.
A video for "Walks Like Rihanna" will hit the streets on May 7 and was filmed in L.A., where the guys also shot their forthcoming E! show, set for debut on June 2.
The track was recorded before bandmate Nathan Sykes went in for vocal cord surgery and is now on an "unforeseen hiatus" from the band. For the time being, the group is keeping up hope that he will soon be well enough to join them again.
"We're worried, but he's in recovery right now and we're being optimistic. Our prayers go out to him and right now we don't know. We're just waiting to see how he reacts to the surgery," manager Scooter Braun explained to MTV News last week.
"They want him back, so you know they're calling daily and he can't really speak. But we're trying to keep his spirits up," he added. "And letting him know the group's not the same without him."