The first girl band to win the UK X Factor reality music competition, Little Mix have a lot to carry on their wings coming into the game. Possibly the female answer to boyband One Direction, also from X Factor, their sophomore effort Salute exudes a more mature, R&B sound than their DNA debut.
Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson are definitely able to deliver amazing harmonies, especially with songs where their vocals are placed front and centre like These Four Walls, with a Diamonds-esque piano riff playing on softly, and the orchestra melodies complementing the fragility and vulnerability of the emotions the girls bring to the forefront. While each takes a verse to shine, the kicker is the back-end of the song, with the soft harmonies, pure genius.
About The Boy is another sassy, Brit-pop track with infused hip-hop, R&B influences, and something about the combination works well with Little Mix's image. Their no-nonsense, girl-power yet feminine attitude is evident in opener Salute, channelling their inner Beyoncé with stadium beats to express an urgency and calling out for female recruits to join their revolution.
While it is good to come across as fierce and independent, Little Mix also balances it out with the fun and confident Mr Loverboy and Nothing Feels Like You, breaking boys' hearts all over with their comehither runs and licks. I think it's something about UK bands that keep the trashy out of these pop songs, making it intensely catchy. American female artistes are overly sexualised for no other reason than to perpetrate the fact that sex sells. It's good to see bands like Little Mix being good role models for teens otherwise.
Salute is Little Mix's "tribute" of sorts to the rise of the female, bringing hints of resemblances to Destiny's Child, Girls' Aloud and The Saturdays, as well as Adele and Beyoncé. Yet, their originality is not lost within all these influences, and it's easy to see that with their talented vocals and affable personalities, Little Mix could well crack the American market soon enough.
Track Cuts: Towers, About The Boy, Mr Loverboy, Nothing Feels Like You, Move