If you’ve ever admitted that you secretly love Little Mix’s catchy pop hits, their latest album, Confetti, will make you think twice about calling them your guilty pleasure and embrace your knowledge of every word to hits ‘Touch’ and ‘Shout Out to My Ex’.
The girl group’s 2018 album, LM5, received mixed reviews after their separation from label Syco, which led to a track list filled with a messy combination of genres and influences. However, the follow up, Confetti is a fierce, bold and the post-record label album we should have had in 2018.
‘Not a Pop Song’ has a sly nod to Simon Cowell, who was their mentor on The X Factor nine years ago. The lyrics “We don’t do what Simon says”, over the upbeat, bouncy track, show that the girls are happy with their new-found independence from his label’s power, and expose what the music industry is really like for pop artists with the line, “Like a hamster on a wheel”.
A common theme throughout the album is self-love and acceptance, with similar messages to Ariana Grande’s 2019 post-break-up album, Thank U Next. ‘Happiness’ preaches finding contentment in yourself, rather than needing a partner, and is reminiscent of Grande’s ‘7 Rings’. The backing vocals even make an attempt at the vocal gymnastics Grande is known for. Although this shows the band’s immaculate vocal ability, it seems unnecessary and doesn’t conform to their usual style.
However, it wouldn’t be a LM album without a slow ballad track such as ‘Secret Love Song’ from 2015’s Glory Days. So, of course, Confetti continues this fashion, with ‘My Love Won’t Let You Down’, bringing emotional lyrics over slow piano keys.
The 13 track album also boasts a number of empowering, pop tracks that the group have made their forte; ‘Holiday’, ‘Gloves Up’ and ‘Break Up Song’ being prime examples of that classic Little Mix sound. However, it’s obvious that the girls have taken inspiration from early 2000’s R&B groups as the highlight track ‘Rendezvous’, with its silky lyrics and electronic beat, could easily have been pulled from a Destiny’s Child album. As well as this, on ‘Not A Break Up Song’ the girls attempt a Cardi B style pre-chorus with snappy and sassy lyrics.
It’s clear that the girls are still finding their feet after the record label split. Yet, Confetti is a pick and mix of their inspirations, flawlessly infused with their glam pop sound; a sound that we have listened to and loved (whether openly or as a guilty pleasure) for the past nine years.
Image: RCA Records