Release Date: Feb 4, 2014
Record label: Syco Music
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Pop Idol, Teen Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Club/Dance
X Factor winners release debut album and enjoy immediate chart success: the Little Mix backstory is, indeed, pretty dull. But the reason they've become the affectionately regarded darlings of pop since then is that there's something a bit skew-whiff about the quartet. Aside from their goofy and cartoonish appearance, their music relishes all that is chintzy and uncool.
The sophomore full-length album from Little Mix, 2013's Salute, showcases the British all-girl group's bright, high-energy pop music. The album follows up the former X Factor champions' 2012 debut, DNA. Once again, this album features the vocal talents of Little Mix members Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall. Surrounded by a sea of similarly inclined girl group acts like Fifth Harmony and the Saturdays, Little Mix do a nice job of standing out from the crowd here.
The running joke was that a successful UK girl group would never again emerge from a reality TV show. In a world where Girls Aloud were a one-in-a-million success story, each successive year of The X Factor saw band after band voted off, leaving viewers to shake their heads and lament voting habits and a public apparently unwilling to buy into the idea of a bunch of girls all getting on together. And then came Little Mix – The X Factor’s last hurrah.
Little Mix followed up their 2011 X Factor victory with a surprisingly good debut that seemed aimed squarely at filling the void left by Girls Aloud's hiatus (one song was even co-written by Nicola Roberts). The follow-up starts off promisingly, the title track press-ganging every military cliche to hand (sirens! A Last Post pastiche! "Your country needs you!" Bellows of "Atten-shun"!) for a call to arms for the world's women that turns into Battlestar by 90s boyband Five as it reaches its chorus. It shouldn't work, but is delivered with such chutzpah that it has a certain ludicrous charm.