Release Date: Nov 6, 2015
Record label: Sony Music
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Teen Pop
The third album from Britain's Little Mix, 2015's Get Weird finds the former X-Factor champions delivering a set of bright, robustly produced songs that straddle the line between '80s synth pop and cutting-edge, contemporary R&B. Once again featured in Little Mix are singers Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall. Rather than being a homogenous group centered around one stand-out vocalist, Little Mix are all vivacious performers blessed with highly resonant voices that are well-matched to each other.
Though they’re now the UK’s leading girl group, Little Mix have always lacked an edge. The original Sugababes had sulky faces and Massive Attack producer Cameron McVey shaped their sound; Girls Aloud had renowned caner Sarah Harding and approval from bands like Arctic Monkeys. By contrast, Little Mix have Simon Cowell signing their pay cheques (they won The X Factor in 2011) and a naff name that sounds like a brand of portable handwhisk.But actually, this lack of appeal doesn’t mean Little Mix are rubbish.
Bucking the trend for pop groups navigating the inevitable ageing process, Little Mix spend much of their third album skipping through the cute corridors of 90s tween pop rather than angling for austere adulthood. It is initially disappointing – their previous album, Salute, contorted the R&B girl-group sound of the early noughties with the kind of steely-faced spirit that took Destiny’s Child into the next phase. But with a name like Little Mix, will they ever be allowed to leave behind the sound of candy-coloured kitsch? Apart from a couple of ballads, and the odd moments of mediocrity (Secret Love Song, which features Jason Derulo, and Hair), business is largely buoyant: there’s the No 1 single Black Magic – like Girls Just Want to Have Fun locked in a My Little Pony lunchbox – the freaky funk of Weird People, and the excellent OMG, fuelled by the bratty vocal style of Charli XCX.