Release Date: Nov 16, 2018
Record label: Columbia
The group have made a name for themselves as assertive, talented young women, whose music and activism are closely intertwined and driven by their connection to their fanbase - a devotion that extends far beyond lip service at award shows. It's not surprising then that LM5 sees them doubling down on what's defined them as an act over the course of their career. LM5 is an album about feminism - going beyond rallying cries of solidarity to also examine insecurities, mistakes, and the importance of embracing these perceived weaknesses as openly as one's strengths.
On their fifth album, Little Mix have something to say about self-love and sisterhood front and centre. Shame they forgot the tunes Little Mix may have landed on the pop scene via that most nefarious of routes - self-assembly on The X Factor -but somehow they’ve become bona fide popstars, enjoying hit after hit, selling out arenas and now - on album number five - reaching a level of fame that dignifies a collaboration with Nicki Minaj. And as they've grown as a girlband they've steadily built up a reputation as not only a group who appeal to younger fans (like Girls Aloud and The Saturdays did before them), but also to those who have grown up with them and older listeners.
P op becomes wretched when it forgets to be fun, with 2018 records from usual banger bandits like Lily Allen and Robyn wearing their serious face. Thank goodness Little Mix didn't get that memo - their fifth album is loaded with empowerment pop, breakup bops and memeable relatability. Woman Like Me and Joan of Arc drip with cheeky swagger, even if the former was co-written by Ed Sheeran, and the latter's take on feminism is as profound as a T-shirt slogan.
I t's seven years since Little Mix were manufactured before viewers' eyes on The X Factor. In pop terms, they're like one of those giant tortoises hatched in the Seychelles when Queen Victoria was on the throne and still happily munching grass today. Girls Aloud's career was done and dusted by this stage, JLS were but a distant memory and One Direction had lost a member and gone on "indefinite hiatus".