Little Mix - LM5

60

The Guardian

(Syco)

Pop becomes wretched when it forgets to be fun, with 2018 records from usual banger bandits like Lily Allen and Robyn wearing their serious face. Thank goodness Little Mix didn’t get that memo – their fifth album is loaded with empowerment pop, breakup bops and memeable relatability. Woman Like Me and Joan of Arc drip with cheeky swagger, even if the former was co-written by Ed Sheeran, and the latter’s take on feminism is as profound as a T-shirt slogan. When the album’s tempo drops, the songs avoid syrupy heartbreak, opting to blast crappy boyfriends or celebrate self-love instead: Notice, a murky jam about ambivalent lovers, and the skittish More Than Words are what pop ballads should sound like in 2018.

Little Mix albums have always struggled to find their own identity, and LM5 still owes too much to Beyoncé’s flirtation with hip-hop and top-40 trend chasing. It’s frustrating, because songs like Love a Girl Right (which channels Ricky Martin, Sisqó and Mis-Teeq), the trip-hop of American Boy and Strip’s stomps of stilettos are weird wonders that prove Little Mix can be a formidable pop force.

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Sun Nov 18 08:59:54 CET 2018

0

The Guardian

The squeaky-clean girl group’s odd, likable new album is aimed squarely at erasing the one blot on their copybook

It’s seven years since Little Mix were manufactured before viewers’ eyes on The X Factor. In pop terms, they’re like one of those giant tortoises hatched in the Seychelles when Queen Victoria was on the throne and still happily munching grass today. Girls Aloud’s career was done and dusted by this stage, JLS were but a distant memory and One Direction had lost a member and gone on “indefinite hiatus”. Little Mix’s progress seems to have continued without a hitch. There has been no scandal – no blurry cameraphone footage of Perrie or Jesy smoking an enormous joint or telling a bedraggled group of pre-teen fans to stuff their selfie up their arse. No one has left burnt out by the workload, nor has one of them gone strange, grown dreadlocks and started muttering bitterly about artistic credibility. Their last album, Glory Days (2016), spent 69 weeks in the British chart. All five of its singles went platinum.

Related: Little Mix: ‘We embrace who we are, we’re not perfect’

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Thu Nov 15 13:00:36 CET 2018