Columbia Records · November 16, 2018
It seems Little Mix are entering a new era, as news broke earlier this month that they were parting with Syco Records. LM5 was released by RCA just 6 days later, the perfect way to introduce the world to the new and improved Little Mix.
In 2011 Little Mix became the first group act to ever come in first place on The X-Factor. Not the first girl-group, the first group. Period. For years their potential to reach the status of other girl-groups like Destiny’s Child or the Spice Girls was overlooked by their label in favor of milking boyband One Direction for all they were worth.
Fans hoped that when 1D officially went on hiatus in 2015 that they would finally be rewarded for the hard work and effort they’d put in, but things stayed more or less the same. They continued to prosper in the UK, with their fourth album Glory Days reaching #1 and going triple platinum, yet most of the US was hardly aware of them beyond a few hit singles (Glory Days peaked at 25 on the US charts, the lowest a Little Mix album has ever charted here).
It seems Little Mix are entering a new era, as news broke earlier this month that they were parting with Syco Records. LM5 was released by RCA just 6 days later, the perfect way to introduce the world to the new and improved Little Mix. The album opens with ‘The National Manthem’, a 30 second long introduction that sets the scene for the rest of the album. All four girls sing together in perfect harmony, “She is a bad bitch / Made up of magic / Pray to the goddess / Don’t break your promise / Thou shall be faithful and honest” letting us know right from the start that LM5 is all about feminism and embracing yourself as a woman.
They exude love and pride for their womanhood throughout the whole album, with tracks like ‘Woman’s World’ and ‘Joan of Arc’ sending empowering messages to their largely female fanbase. The pre-chorus of ‘Joan of Arc’ ends with a male voice asking “Oh, you on that feminist tip?”, having Little Mix respond “Hell yeah I am!” before leading into the chorus, singing “I don’t need a man / If I’m loving you it’s ‘cause I can / I don’t want your cash / I put my own rock on my hand”.
Possibly even more powerful than womanhood, Little Mix have always been about sisterhood. They’ve spoken about their relationships with one another several times over the course of their career, and every time they seem to have an even tighter and more unbreakable bond. Nothing highlights this sentiment better than ‘Told You So’, an acoustic, bittersweet song about supporting a friend after a breakup.
This is not the first time Little Mix have included an ode to their friendship on an album, with many calling ‘Told You So’ a more mature version of ‘Always Be Together’, a track about friendship from their first album DNA. ‘Told You So’ reads like a conversation between the girls that they’ve been gracious enough to share with the rest of us, reassuring one another that no matter what happens in their romantic relationships they’ll always have each other’s backs.
The album’s last track ‘The Cure’ seems to serve as a companion piece to ‘Told You So’, wrapping up the album with a sense of finality that seems inspired and hopeful. In the chorus Little Mix harmonize together, “I was a little messed up, but I’m not anymore / I was a little locked out, but I’m not anymore / I was a little far gone, but I’m not anymore / Yeah, it’s alright now, baby, I got the cure”. They end the album with a positive outlook on the future, leaving their fans waiting to see what will come next.
Listen to LM5: