We, as a society, have been in a girl pop group music deficit. I know, it pains me to speak of as well. Gone are the days where we could count on new music from the Spice Girls. Dream disappeared in the blink of an eye and two singles. Nicole Scherzinger, the lead voice of the Pussycat Dolls, has split away from the rest of the group. The pop scene has become a sea of boy bands and solo female/male pop artists, leaving a hole in the market.
Enter Little Mix. This group, comprised of Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirwall, got their start on The X-Factor in England before being signed by Simon Cowell. Their debut album came out in England in November of last year and is finally dropping across the pond today!
Here’s a song by song review of (the British version of) DNA.
The first (and only in America) single off of the album is a high energy tune about remembering your own awesomeness and disregarding the shade others throw your way. A few years ago there was a slew of songs released with similar themes, ranging from the irritatingly shrill “Firework” by Katy Perry to the fun “We R Who We R” by Ke$ha. I’d say this one falls more on the good Ke$ha side, but that’s probably just because I like them both.
Stand out lyrics: “My feet, feet can’t touch the ground/And I can’t hear a sound/But you just keep on running up your mouth, yeah/Walk, walk on over there/’Cause I’m too fly to care”
The second single from the album starts off with a creepy music box melody that builds to an edgy, epic pop sound. The music video makes it even more awesome—the noir clip has each girl kidnapping their paramour, while sometimes strutting and looking fierce. As one does.
Stand out lyrics: I feel like you shouldn’t break this one down—the whole is better than the sum of its parts. Just listen to the whole thing.
3. “CHANGE YOUR LIFE”
“Change Your Life” seems to be another sort of “It gets better” type anthem with positive messaging. However, I’m not a huge fan of the talk-singing featured on the track. Still better than “Firework.”
Stand out lyric: “You’re not the only one so let them criticize/You’re untouchable when you realize”
4. “ALWAYS BE TOGETHER”
This one’s a slower ballad that shows off the range of each girl with an almost 90’s feel. It almost reminds me of the slower tracks off of Britney Spears’s first release, only with more vibrato.
Stand out lyric: A little sappy for my taste, but I’d pick out this one—“ Your heartbeat is disguised as my lullaby”
5. “STEREO SOLDIER”
I enjoyed the commitment to the military theme for this one—the timing of the song is kept by military-style drum beats and calls of “left-right-left-right-left” in the background. There’s a playful tone and many allusions to dancing. LOVE IT.
Stand out lyric: “Boy step a little closer/Cause I don’t think you’ve heard these words before/Lay me left and rock me right/Baby lift me up so high”
6. “PRETEND IT’S OKAY”
This song is emotional and dark with unexpected points made about mortality. There’s a clear message about the fleeting nature of life, though I can’t for the life of me figure out if they are the ones dead or if it is the significant other. Regardless! Deeper than one might expect from the outside packaging.
Stand out lyric: “I remember the day when we were out all night/I wish that I could get the day back and tell you it’s all right/Cause we all do the same thing, we just don’t realize/That we’re living on borrowed time”
7. “TURN YOUR FACE”
A slow ballad about losing another person, “Turn Your Face” really demonstrated the range of each girl. While it starts out higher pitched that I enjoy, the song builds to what sounds like Broadway-quality vocals.
Stand out lyric: “In my memory/All the small things/Like daggers in my mind/In my memory/While my head bleeds/The words I’ll never find”
8. “WE ARE WHO WE ARE”
Quite different from the homophonic “We R Who We R,” this is another song about embracing who you are instead of what the media or the rest of the world expects you to be. I’m not a huge fan of the chorus, but it might appeal to a younger audience. I do give them credit for really devoting themselves to such a positive message, especially when a lot of their fans are part of the younger set.
Stand out lyric: “I know I know/I’ll never be perfect/I know I know/But I’m gonna work it”
9. “HOW YA DOIN?”
A blend of Destiny’s Child’s “Bugaboo,” No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs,” and TLC’s “No Scrubs.” Read: AWESOME. Also, there’s a remix featuring Missy Elliot.
Stand out lyric: “Ain’t got no time for what you think can be described as love/I’ll cut your holds on me you’re missing me I’ve had enough/It’s been so long since you have treated me like I deserve/So long baby I’m gone you can leave a message for me after the tone”
10. “RED PLANET” featuring T-Boz (!!!)
Um, Little Mix did a song with a member of one of my favorite 90’s girl groups?! SOLD. Ostensibly about the love between two people, however I’m at a loss to explain any of the details.
Stand out lyric: “The way you won’t let me alone/It’s like a ghost hunting me/Now it’s in my bones”
11. “GOING NOWHERE”
“Going Nowhere” is about ditching a deadbeat significant other. Leigh-Anne splashes a bit of a rap in, just to change things up. The nice thing about the album is that it’s fairly cohesive while still maintaining a distinctive sound for each song. There’s no cookie cutter bubble gum pop here–the songs and melodies are varied nicely.
Stand out lyric: “How am I supposed to look at you like that?/When all you ever really do is hold me back/No more for sure/It’s you who’s out the door/I think I should press delete and clear my history”
Okay, this is my favorite song on the album, so of course I have no words as to why. I’ll try regardless: it’s dark, it’s dissonant, they defiantly state that the people in white coats aren’t taking them back—need I say more?
Stand out lyric: The ENTIRE song.
Based on their first album, I think Little Mix might be just the girl group we’re looking for. I’m excited for them to become popular in the American pop music scene. PLEASE!
Have you heard anything from Little Mix? Are they the girl group to fill the Spice Girls-shaped hole in your heart? Let us know in the comments!