WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2
TRACKLIST: Black Magic/Love Me Like You/Weird People/Secret Love Song (featuring Jason Derulo)/Hair/Grown/I Love You/OMG/Lightning/A.D.I.D.A.S/Love Me Or Leave Me/The End/ (deluxe only) I Won’t/Secret Love Song (part 2)/Clued Up/The Beginning.
A year ago Little Mix had scrapped an entire album and missed the lucrative quarter four album release slot they’d surfed in 2012 and 2013.
The clue that their career was far from over was the successful arena tour they’d completed early in 2014. We’ve seen them live twice (Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith in 2013 and The 02 a year later) and they reminded us in spirit and talent of a very young Girls Aloud, particularly given the reaction they won from their predominantly female audience.
So it wasn’t too much of a surprise when the 80s influenced Black Magic topped the UK charts for three weeks this summer. We love the Motown bop of follow-up Love Me Like You even more and both songs have really set the template for this third album: colourful, fun and sassy pop. Quite a departure from the R’n’B detour of predecessor Salute.
The appearance of pop hottie Jason Derulo on Secret Love Song signifies the band’s ambition to break America, a feat Black Magic was unable to achieve despite strong promotion there. It’s screaming Christmas heartache single. Sample lyric: ‘Why can’t you hold me on the street? Why can’t I kiss you on the dance floor’
We’ve previewed instant grat tracks Weird People (catchy 80s), Hair (could’ve been on Salute), Grown (Jess Glynne co-write) and Lightning (DNA‘s less catchy sister). Elsewhere, Love Me Or Leave Me is a ballad showing increasing maturity (as is I Love You, one of five band co-writes on the main album), The End is predominantly acapella showcasing more confident vocals while OMG (Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F reimagined) and A.D.I.D.A.S are sassy bops.
Pop album of the year contender.
- Little Mix tour the UK 13/3 – 9/4/16 including two gigs at The 02. Tickets available here.
Picture via Facebook courtesy Little Mix.
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