Quite why Little Mix isn’t the biggest pop band on the planet is beyond us. Arguably their output is more diverse than fellow X Factor graduates One Direction but commercially there is a huge gulf. Despite two Top 5 UK albums and two Top 10 Billboard 200 albums in the US, the girl band has achieved moderate sales. Their 2013 album Salute was easily the best pop album of the year but it only achieved Gold status in the UK falling short of the platinum sales of debut album DNA. The foursome are back with third album Get Weird so could this be their huge breakthrough?
At this time it’s hard to predict. Despite having a huge number 1 in the shape of Black Magic, the follow-up single Love Me Like You has struggled I the charts failing to crack the Top 10. Not even a performance on The X Factor results show has propelled the single to the upper reaches of the chart. Its underperformance genuinely leaves us scratching our heads to come up with a reason why the group’s success is so hit and miss. Both Salute and DNA were solid pop albums and the early signs were looking positive for Get Weird.
Sonically Get Weird marries pure pop, R&B and 80s influences to create a bolder sound for the group. It’s a progression rather than a revolution but it’s the most mature and interesting set that Little Mix has released to date. The album opens with the one-two-punch of Black Magic and Love Me Like You getting things off to a strong start. After that the styles vary from the pure 80s homage Weird People through to the minimal beats of ballad I Love You.
As the girls, and their fans, are maturing so is the content of their songs. A.D.I.D.A.S. which stands for All Day I Dream About Sex is a tongue-in-cheek track with the girls using ‘shhh’ rather than sex to keep it family friendly. Similarly Love Me Like You, originally titled Fuck Me Like You, sees the girls yearning to do more than kiss and cuddle with their men. Buzz track sees the girls labelling a former boyfriend a ‘dick’ albeit censored out, as they sing about moving on from a bad relationship.
Elsewhere on the record Jason Derulo features on the ballad Secret Love Song (a second more stripped back Derulo-less version appears on the Deluxe edition), OMG features bratty chants that would have made the Spice Girls proud, and The End showcases the girls a cappella proving what a vocal force they are. On the Deluxe edition of the album the girls team up with Jessie J to co-wrote acoustic ballad Clued Up, one of the strongest tracks on the set.
Little Mix have always been fantastic singers but it has to be noted that Leigh-Anne Pinnock has come on leaps and bounds. Her confidence shines through across the record and she sounds fantastic. We’d go as far as to say that she actually steals the show from the other girls for the first time. As always the group is at their best when the harmonies kick in and thankfully those moments are plentiful on the record.
Get Weird is Little Mix’s most confident album to date. For us it’s not quite as strong as their brilliant second album Salute but it’s a damn fine effort. We’ve got everything crossed that this is the album that elevates them from moderately successful girl group to international superstars. No other girl band is making pop music this good and Little Mix are at the top of their game.