Release Date: Nov 19, 2012
Record label: Syco Music
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Pop Idol, Teen Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock
The 2011 winners of Britain's The X Factor TV show, four-piece girl group Little Mix deliver a slick, high-energy mix of dance-oriented pop music with their debut full-length album, 2012's DNA. Showcased here are the soulful vocals (and various British accents) of Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards from the coastal town of South Shields, Jesy Nelson from the East London neighborhood of Romford, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock from the High Wycombe area of Buckinghamshire. Working with a bevy of big-name producer/songwriters including Steve Mac (the Wanted, the Saturdays, JLS) and TMS (Professor Green, Emeli Sandé) as well as Jon Levine (Nelly Furtado, Selena Gomez), Diplo, and others, Little Mix deliver a fun, catchy mix of pop songs that showcases the slight differences in each member's personality and vocal style while never detracting from the overall girl group aesthetic.
Groups don't win The X Factor. At least they didn't until the likable Little Mix came along in 2011, ambled through the early weeks, then did an En Vogue cover that set them on the path to victory. Their debut album arrives a year after the fact, and establishes their identity nicely, which is to say that they're being positioned as a sort of updated Girls Aloud with enormous drums and plenty of very "now" early-90s R&B references.
There's serious pop pedigree behind this debut album from last year's X Factor winners. Rihanna hitmaker Ester Dean is among the writing team, while a cameo from TLC's T-Boz provides an endorsement from girl groups past. The results are predictably slick and well stocked with clever production touches: processed guitar, strings and robotic vocals tangle effectively on Red Planet, Madhouse adapts elements of Florence-style melodrama.
If they survive the winners’ curse, Little Mix could prove an interesting prospect. Al Fox 2012 Considering even JLS and One Direction couldn’t do it, Little Mix must have something pretty special to become the first group to win The X Factor. But with the show’s runners-up increasingly outperforming champions, a win could well be construed as the proverbial albatross.