Album Release: Little Mix – LM5
Little Mix have spent the last year writing and recording the album with an A-List cast of writers and producers including Ed Sheeran, Camille Purcell, Jess Glynne, MNEK and Timbaland. The collection is their strongest work to date, with the girls themselves describing it as ‘the album we always wanted to make’. LM5 is available through Sony Music Entertainment Australia.
The album’s first single ‘Woman Like Me’ featuring Nicki Minaj is a harmony led, urban, reggae pop smash, which immediately hit No.1 on iTunes around the world and was the #1 most added track to Australian radio upon release.
Though the lyrics on some tracks are still a little on the nose, the overall sound is more cohesive, polished and confident than their past two records in particular; which were a slightly confusing mish-mash of tropical, doo-wop and sugary pop tracks. With a slight lift production wise, LM5 is more in line with their sophomore album, Salute, which was largely influenced by pop R&B.
While there isn’t anything quite as bubblegum pop as ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ or ‘Black Magic’, LM5 offers ‘Joan of Arc’, ‘American Boy’, ‘Wasabi’, and ‘Motivate’ as fun and uptempo rhythmic bangers as well as ‘Love a Girl Right’, which you’re sure to enjoy… If you’re a fan of Sisqó’s ‘Thong Song’.
Recently-announced second single ‘Strip’, continues on the female empowerment narrative that runs through Little Mix’s discography. But it isn’t as saccharine as say, ‘Change Your Life’, and is instead a bold, confident and unapologetic celebration of body confidence and self worth.
Structure-wise, it’s possibly their riskiest single choice to date, with its first 30 seconds being almost entirely acapella and constant changes in tempo throughout its 3 minutes and 19 second runtime.
‘Think About Us’ stands out for not trying be as adventurous as the rest of LM5, but it’s slight Latin vibe is on trend and it sounds like an easily consumable radio single, so it’s clear why it made the final cut.
Doing a good girl group ballad is not an easy task, but the girls excel on ‘Monster in Me’, which is surprisingly dark lyrically, as it seems to highlight the complications of a destructive relationship, as Perrie sings ‘Touch Me, why don’t we kill each other slowly’.
There’s a greater emphasis on vocals here compared to Glory Days, as the girls give us plenty of the harmonies that made us fall in love with them seven years ago – and Leigh-Anne shines more than ever.
Overall, LM5 a step up for Little Mix. It may not be the big bubbly pop album some fans want, but Jesy, Leigh Anne Perrie and Jade are really beginning to explore their sound and show us the music they want to make.
1 The National Manthem
2 Woman Like Me feat. Nicki Minaj
3 Think About Us
4 Strip feat. Sharaya J
5 Monster In Me
6 Joan Of Arc
7 Love a Girl Right
8 American Boy
9 Told You So
11 More Than Words feat. Kamille
14 The Cure
15 Forget You Not – deluxe only
16 Woman’s World – deluxe only
17 The Cure (Stripped) – deluxe only
18 Only You – deluxe only
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