Since their formation in 2011, Little Mix have undeniably taken the world by storm. They have sold five million singles and 2.5 million albums worldwide, overtaken The Spice Girls to become the first girl group to reach Number Four on the US Billboard chart and have become one of Simon Cowell’s most viable X Factor products. Not bad in the slightest for a manufactured girl band whose origins lay in the X Factor.
‘Get Weird’ largely follows the same successful formula as previous albums ‘Salute’ and ‘DNA’, on which a team of A-list songwriters are recruited to assist in the creation of a fierce pop album promoting girl power. The difference here is ‘Get Weird’ provides more scope by utilising doo-wop and 80’s synthpop influences – experimenting with a new sound.
Lead single ‘Black Magic’ opens the album triumphantly and despite its over-exposure, it is still a piece of pop perfection. Likewise, ‘Weird People’ replicates 80’s pop, utilising funky bass lines, catchy guitar riffs and heavily gated percussion. ‘Love Me Like You’ rather bizarrely mirrors ABBA and the material of StooShe featuring catchy ‘sha-la-la-la’ hooks and polished brass instruments whilst ‘A.D.I.D.A.S’ features doo-wop influences with elements of R&B.
The album’s softer moments provide a breather from the cheerleader exuberance and punctuate the album nicely. ‘I Love You’ is a gentle pop ballad featuring breathy, lovely layered harmonies whilst ‘Love Me or Leave Me’ is a pleasant piano ballad with powerful vocals. ‘Secret Love Song’, a duet with Jason Derulo fails to impress, however. Derulo’s auto-tuned wailing is unnecessary and is largely responsible for the track being one of the weakest points in the album.
Elsewhere, the album ventures into hip hop territory. ‘OMG’ sounds like a Chris Brown out-take and features meticulously programmed bass lines and synths whilst ‘Lightning’, a stand out track is rife with manic distorted synthesiser drops.
The album swings from 80’s Pop to Hip hop to Sixties Doo-Wop and this results in a confused affair at times. Whilst variety is welcomed, it’s rather manic which results in its inconsistency. Had it stuck with the 80’s Pop ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ theme exhibited so effortlessly on ‘Black Magic’, it would have been far more successful. Instead, it seemingly recycles the formula from previous two albums and whilst it is a step up from them, it lacks innovation.
An overall enjoyable pop album but one which falls short of its potential.
‘Get Weird’ is available now on Syco/Columbia records.