As you may remember from my review of their first album, DNA, Little Mix is the British pop group helping to fill the Spice Girls-shaped hole in my heart. After getting their start on British X-Factor, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirwall released DNA (2012-2013) and acquired a worldwide following. Salute was released November 12, 2013 in the UK but only dropped in the United States a few weeks ago—which, in my opinion, is so silly. Don’t non-simultaneous release dates foster more music piracy? I see that on the one hand, the band can devote time to promoting the album in each country; on the other, I had heard the entire CD on tumblr before it even came close to the United States. On yet another, the album shot straight to #1 on iTunes on its release day, so I guess my argument is rather invalid? Anyway, here’s a song by song breakdown of Little Mix’s Salute!
The title track off the album is one mean lady anthem. You can really see that Little Mix has taken up the reigns on the girl power spirit. The song is intense, catchy, and continues with the military motif the girls started with “Stereo Soldier” on DNA.
The first single off the album is crazy catchy with good rise-and-fall action, musically. Don’t tell me pop singers can’t sing after hearing Perrie and Jade hit those growl notes. Fun, flirty, awesome.
This song is a message to their younger selves to stand up for themselves, be who they want to be and speak up. It could have come off as preachy, but the framing of the lyrics helped avoid that particular fate.
“NOTHING FEELS LIKE YOU”
There’s talk of being devoted to a significant other, but not of the hopeless variety. It’s an upbeat, cheery selection. The chorus feels rushed due to the spaces between the words, but the verses are well executed.
Ballad time, extended simile edition. In this case, the break up is like tearing down towers. The rhyming lyrics and sweeping strings in the background give it a touch of the 90’s.
A nice sassy track to spice up the middle of the album, with a bonus hint of feminism! I love the positive lady vibes Little Mix dishes out. The delicate piano parts leading to the chorus add a bit of complexity to what could have been just a simple, catchy song.
“THESE FOUR WALLS”
This one sounds pretty, but the lyrics are a bit wallow-y for my tastes. It seems rather dramatic if it’s about a break up, but I suppose the lyrics would be warranted if it was about a death. The situation is unclear. Anyway, it does a good job of showing off the vocal range of each girl and their ability to harmonize.
“ABOUT THE BOY”
It’s as if the Spice Girls’ backing track, Dream’s vocals, and the theme of Stacy Orico’s “Stuck On You” were thrown into a blender. Didn’t expect to hear that one, did you? Whatever, it’s AWESOME. Their use of the word “lovefool” feels rather dated, but maybe that’s its heavy associated with the 90’s.
A song for the best friends that have dealt with multiple break up/make ups when the boy in question CLEARLY isn’t worth it. It’s the musical equivalent of the “You’re too good for him” speech, and that’s awesome. The sparse musical accompaniment makes it the perfect selection for any a cappella performances in the future.
Ballad time again! The song sounds so lamentful, but in actuality the message here appears to be “Sorry not sorry for my awesomeness.” Good on you, Little Mix.
The upbeat, happy love song selection on the album, this one trends a bit more traditional pop song in theme—i.e., I like the way I feel around you. I’m not crazy about the inclusion of random male vocals repeating, “You can be my lover/I can be your love.”
The return of the military march/drum motif—nice framework, Little Mix! An assertive track that states that everyone is different and should continue doing their own things. They mention how young they are several times, which seems oddly out of place.
“SEE ME NOW”
The first bonus track has a bit of a darker, mysterious beat behind it and explains that everyone who underestimated them is now unprepared for the awesomeness.
“THEY JUST DON’T KNOW YOU”
This one has the most self-explanatory title—I think you can guess the exact message of the song. The beat/cadence in the background is heavily reminiscent of “Going Nowhere” from their debut album.
“Stand Down” is a fierce challenge to the rest of the world that endorses being over criticism and carrying own to do your own thing. I love that one of the big messages this CD has is “Little Mix isn’t here for your nonsense.”
“LITTLE ME (ACOUSTIC)”
Same as the above track, only with delicate piano accompaniment.
All and all, Salute is a great pop album about independence, lady camaraderie, and celebrating your own unique awesomeness (without the heavy handed preachiness, that is). Recommended for people who love fun, catchy music and girl power a la the Spice Girls.
What do you think of Little Mix’s newest album? Do non-simultaneous releases across different countries annoy you as well? Let us know in the comments!