Little Mix have come a long way since they first appeared on the radar as a self-assembly group on the X-Factor. Under the management of Simon Cowell, they pushed out hit after hit but now, they have broken free from their X-Factor chains and have gone their own way. LM5 is the sound of four confident, powerful women who have regained control and produced the album that they want to make. The result? An album which celebrates self-love and female empowerment.
The pertly named opening track “The National Manthem” shows off the groups refined harmonies and introduces the album well. The subsequent track “Woman Like Me” is one of the strongest and the album which is unsurprising, considering it features vocals from Nicki Minaj. The fact that Little Mix has broken away from the brand chosen for them as a group for young teenage girls, and have reached a point they were able to collaborate with Nicki Minaj, deserves praise.
Not every song on the album is polished and a few weaker tracks follow. “Think About Us” and “Monster In Me” are a little cliche and not particularly inspired. That said, their single “Strip” is a real power anthem. It’s the kind of track you’d play to your little sister panicking over her first break-out, but it’s also a track to get down and dirty to when you’re letting your hair down on a Friday night.
They sing: “Strip! Take off all my make-up ’cause I love what’s under it / Rub off all your words, don’t give a uh, I’m over it / Strip! Jiggle all this weight, yeah, you know I love all of this / Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident (Ah, ah, ah, ah)” Here, they have transformed the derogatory demand to ‘strip’ and turned it into something body positive, teaming with self-love.
“Wasabi” is a slick and sexy track, sat somewhere in between the mediocre ‘American Boy’ and a few more forgettable tracks. None of them are bad, they just don’t seem to bring anything new or even catchy to the genre.
Nonetheless, Little Mix’s fifth album is the first album they have taken control of and no group gets it right first time. Their new image as empowered, body-positive women is fantastic and forgetting to bring the tunes on a few tracks is consequently forgivable.
LM5 is an admirable album and we’re excited to see what the group will do next. Preach it, sisters!