I will be honest and highlight that I have never liked Little Mix albums. They often try to please everyone creating a messy and confusing body of work.
As such, my excitement levels for a new Little Mix album are quite low.
The UK girl group’s fifth long-player ‘LM5’ has been heralded as being a more mature and consistent album. And I was surprised to discover how true this is.
Embodying their independence, there are strong feminist messages throughout this album, creating strong connections to their songs. They’re doing what they want and sharing their stories and point of view.
Nothing feels fake or forced.
Jess Glynne and Ed Sheeran contribute to lead single ‘Woman Like Me’, which sets the tone for the album alongside opener ‘The National Manthem’. Big beats and a heavy R&B influence dominate. It reminds me a lot of TLC’s breakout long player ‘CrazySexyCool’.
What’s missing for me are the big pop moments I love hearing from Little Mix – they aren’t anywhere to be found. The closest we get to that pop sound is on ‘Monster In Me’ with its big progressive chords. It’s a stunning power ballad which I love and provides some familiarity.
Songs like ‘Motivate’ and ‘The Cure’ also drive home more of the traditional pop sound we have grown to love from the girls, but they sit alongside R&B bangers like ‘More Than Words’ and ‘American Boy’ comfortably.
Special mention to ‘Wasabi’ for being both horrendous and amazing at the same time. It’s got an infectious beat but one of the worst analogies used for sex. It’s what pop music is all about – contrast and a bit of kitsch. I love it.
I don’t love ‘LM5’ completely, but it’s one of the better Little Mix albums from a consistency standpoint and has made me pay attention again.
The girls are maturing and finding their feet.
With a devoted fan base, it’s great to see them using their platform to convey strong and powerful messages through some great pop music.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : The Cure, Think About Us, Monster In Me.