Little Mix are, at the moment, the world’s biggest girl group. Hailing from a pedigree of reality TV victory and with a couple of super-successful albums behind them already, and a social media fan army behind them, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall look set to claim the charts on either side of the Atlantic with their blend of unapologetically feminist, earworm-friendly pop music.
Get Weird is their latest offering, their third album, and their return to what the quartet consider their true pop leanings, following previous record ‘Salute’ and its R&B influences. Get Weird — a record that from the title alone and onwards celebrates their unique place in the music world — is at times both fun and frustrating when it comes the tunes.
The pop bangers on Get Weird are never too far away, despite the propensity for Little Mix to fall back on their balladry as backup – the ebullient ‘Weird People’ is a call-to-arms for everyone who doesn’t fit the mold, set to joyous disco beats and with a killer key change towards the end, while bonus track ‘I Don’t’ is their most potently feminist anthem since previous single ‘Salute’. Lead single ‘Black Magic’ is the most sugary of the bunch, providing Eighties beats alongside bouncing effervescent lyrics, while ‘OMG’ is bratty, catchy brilliance with it’s ‘Fancy’-style synths, and bouncy tracks such as the camp and sassy ‘Hair’, the infectiously dance-y ‘Lightning’, and the girl-power funk of ‘Grown’ help keep the good mood flowing.
The record is also heavy on ballads, which Little Mix are equally adept at doing vocally, but which can be polarising – ‘Secret Love Song’, their duet with American hip-hop artist Jason Derulo is sweet enough, and single ‘Love Me Like You’ is a bittersweet Sixties ballad, but other tracks (namely the lacklustre bonus track ‘Clued Up’ and the inoffensively bland ‘I Love You’) fail to make an impression. Fortunately, the balance never gets too obscured, and for every awkward ballad, there’s some displays of impressive vocals such as on album closer ‘The End’ which more than showcases their ranges.
Get Weird isn’t the pop album of the year, but it is a largely solid, confident, and enjoyable record from a quartet of talented young artists – if they can keep up this blend of pop music, then Get Weird won’t be just their strongest album to date, it will also hold the distinction of being the first of more great albums yet to come.